Ghoul News – Cartoonist Death Notices

Here’s a group of cartoonist death notices, all gleaned from the Washington Post.

Walter Blackman, Cartoonist, Dies

Cleveland, Dec.29 – Walter W. Blackman, 65, for 21 years political cartoonist for the Birmingham, Ala., Age-Herald, died today at his home in Willowick, Ohio, east of here. He was a member of the Gridiron Club and the National Press Club of Washington.

Originator of one of the first animated motion picture cartoons, he used the idea in connection with the Government’s Liberty Loan campaigns. Years ago he obtained a patent on a process for making motion pictures in natural color. While a cartoonist for the Birmingham Age-Herald he was sent by his paper to campaign on political issues.

“Jerry on the Job”Artist Dies at 49

New York, Nov.22 – Walter C. Hoban, 49, widely known comic artist and cartoonist, died last night after a two-month illness. He was with King Features Syndicate for more than 20 years. He was best known perhaps for his comic strip “Jerry on the Job.”

Powers, Noted Cartoonist, Dies

New York, Aug.14 – T.E. Powers, 69, noted political cartoonist of the Hearst newspapers for more than 40 years, died today after a two-year illness.

One of the earliest political caricaturists of modern journalism, Powers was the favorite political cartoonist of President Theodore Roosevelt.

Powers retired several years ago due to ill health.

Bob Edgren, Sports Cartoonist, Dies

Carmel, Calif., Sept. 10 – Bob Edgren, 65, famous sports editor and cartoonist, died here last night after a series of heart attacks.

Edgren for many years was sports editor of the old New York World.

Surviving are his wife, a son and three sisters.

Joseph McGurk Dies

Philadelphia, Jan. 9 – Joseph W. McGurk, 52, illustrator and one-time sports cartoonist, died last night.

McDougall, 80, First Cartoonist in U.S., Suicide
White House Writer in Days of First Roosevelt Shoots Self

Waterford, Conn., March 6 – Walt McDougall, 80, dean of American cartoonists, author and humorist, was found dead today on a couch in his Fern Lane farmhouse.

Dr. Frank Dunn, medical examiner, said McDougall’s right hand clutched an old-fashioned “horse pistol” and that his death was suicide.

McDougall, generally regarded as the first American [daily newspaper] cartoonist, contributed to the old New York World and to the Philadelphia North American. He also did strips for the McClure Syndicate and nationally known magazines.

Among his better known ones were “Absent Minded Abner,” “Fatty Felix,” “Hank The Hermit,” “Teddy In Africa” and the Rambillaux Series.

His cartoon “The Feast of Belshazzar” was credited with helping to elect Grover Cleveland president.

McDougall was once rebuked by the Supreme Court of the United States for drawing a cartoon showing justices of the high court chewing tobacco behind the bench.

He was a personal friend of the late Theodore Roosevelt and covered the White House as a newspaperman in his Presidential regime.

Will Chapin Dies

Hollywood, Calif., Oct. 15 – Will E. Chapin, 80, cartoonist and writer, died at his home here yesterday.

Frederick Opper Dies at 80; Happy Hooligan’s Creator

New Rochelle, N.Y., Aug. 27 – Heart disease brought death today to Frederick Burr Opper, 80, creator of Happy Hooligan, Alphonse and Gaston, and other comic strip characters read around the world.

He was forced by failing eyesight a few years ago to retire from active work for newspapers with which he had been connected since 1899.

Born in Madison, Ohio, the son of an Austro-Hungarian immigrant, Opper left school at 14 to work on the Madison Gazette, a weekly newspaper. A year later he went to New York.

When he submitted some of his sketches to magazines they were promptly purchased. Then Col. Frank Leslie hired him as a staff artist for Leslie’s weekly. Three years later he went to Puck, with which he remained until engaged for the New York Journal.

With the rise of the syndicate system, his cartoons were circulated throughout the world.

In 1900 he created the tramp with the tin hat, Happy Hooligan, best known of his characters.

Opper for many years was an outstanding political cartoonist, during the McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt campaigns. His “Willie and Teddy” series had the nation roaring.

Cartoonist Weed Dies of Pneumonia

New York, Dec. 27 – Clive Weed, artist and political cartoonist, died today in a hospital here of pneumonia. He was 52.

Weed studied art at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, where he was a favorite pupil of the late Thomas Pollock Anshutz, instructor of many noted American artists.

In 1910 he joined the staff of the Philadelphia Record, and a year later went to the Philadelphia Press, where his chief work was illustrating news stories. He joined the New York Evening Sun in 1912, and one of his first assignments was to sketch the survivors of the Titanic disaster.

He became political cartoonist for the old New York Tribune, the Philadelphia Public Ledger, and editorial cartoonist for the magazine Judge. His drawings also appeared in Colliers, the American Magazine, Leslie’s and Life.

Weed returned to newspaper work in 1927 as cartoonist for the New York Evening World, and once the last edition of that paper was published he had been with the King Features Syndicate.

Charles C. Reese, Cartoonist, Dead

Glendale, Calif., July 4 – Charles Chandler Reese, 74, newspaper illustrator and cartoonist, died at a hospital yesterday of the infirmities of age.

His career included prominent posts of New York, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia newspapers. During the Spanish-American war his sketches on the field of action in Cuba appeared in the New York World, drawing wide attention.

Reese claimed to have been the first artist to have a picture reproduced as a double-truck, or two-page, illustration in a newspaper.

Born in Pittsburgh, Reese lived in the East until he came here six years ago. He was prominent in the Elks and was past exalted ruler of lodges at Hackensack, N.J., and Staten Island, N.Y.

Creator of ‘Gumps’ Is Killed in Crash
Sidney Smith Had Been on Outing Celebrating New Contract

Chicago, Ill., Oct. 20 – Sidney Smith, 58, creator of “The Gumps,” one of the most popular of all newspaper cartoons, was killed at 3:45 a.m. today in an automobile collision near Harvard, Ill., a few miles from the Wisconsin boundary.

Smith, at the time of the accident, was alone. The previous afternoon he had been on a gay outing at Lake Geneva, Wisc., in celebration of a three-year extension of his $150,000-a-year newspaper syndicate contract.

He had gone from his home in Chicago to the Wisconsin resort to meet with syndicate officials and sign the contract extension. He then invited the syndicate men to spend Sunday at his nearby 2,200 acre Shirland farm.

When they preferred to return to Chicago Smith drove them to the city, then started back toward the farm. It was late at night. To break the long, solitary drive, the cartoonist stopped at the Bubbling-Over Tavern, 6 miles south of the point where he met his death.

At the roadhouse Smith entertained the patrons by drawing pictures of the cartoon characters he made famous throughout the world. About 3:30 a.m. he started on the last lap of his journey.

He was driving a small sedan. Another sedan, headed south and driven by Wendell Martin, of Waukesha, Ill., collided with Smith’s car. Although there were no witnesses it is believed the two machines met almost on the center line of the highway. Smith’s car was whirled around, thrown off the road and against a telephone pole. The top of the cartoonist’s head was crushed in. Marlin suffered a broken hip, fractured jaw, and other injuries.

Smith’s body was brought to a Chicago undertaking parlor and from there will be taken to his Chicago residence, 1500 Lake Shore Drive. Funeral services will be held at his home Wednesday. Internment will be in Rose Hill Cemetary here.

Survivors are his wife, a son, Robert Sidney Smith, 25, of Phoenix, Ariz., and a daughter, Mrs. Gladys Lucknow, of Lauderdale, Wis.

Smith’s first wife, Gentraude Craddock, of Pittsburgh, died in 1924. His second marriage took place in 1926.

Preferred To Draw
Sidney Smith was born in Bloomington, Ill., on February 13, 1877, the son of Dr. T.H. and Mrs. Francis A. Shafer Smith. His father was a dentist and wanted the son to follow him in his profession. But Sidney, from boyhood, showed an inclination to spend most of his time bending over a drawing board. When he was 18 he was drawing for the Bloomington Sunday Eye.

From Bloomington he went to Indianapolis, where he joined the staff, first of the News, then of the Press. Later he went to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Pittsburgh Post, the Pittsburgh Press, the Indianapolis Sentinel and the Toledo News Bee. But his drawings for all these papers were centered around a human goat called “Old Doc Yak.”

Not until 1917, when he was on the art staff of the Chicago Tribune, did Smith conceive the now-famous Gump family. Between the birth of Andy and the burial of Old Doc Yak, several other series, including “The Bunk of a Busy Brain,” “Self-Made Heroes” and “Light Occupations” wandered across the cartoonist’s drawing board.

Won World Recognition
But it was with the Gumps — Andy, Min, Chester, Uncle Bim — that Sidney Smith won world recognition. The strip has been published throughout the United States, in Canada, Europe, Hawaii and Australia.

In keeping up the daily and Sunday production the cartoonist was forced to build up a staff of artists and idea men.

It was on March 15, 1922, that Smith signed the first $1,000,000 contract ever given a comic strip artist. The agreement was to cover a 10-year period and as a bonus, the creator of the Gump strip was given a Rolls Royce.

At the time of the artist’s death the comic was drawn three months in advance. His staff hopes to continue the adventures of the Gump household.

Mother of McManus, Noted Cartoonist, Dies

Hollywood, July 18 – Mrs. George McManus, 82, mother of George McManus, cartoonist, died here today.

Born in Limerick, Ireland, she came to the United States when she was a small girl. Her first home was in St. Louis, but she went to New York after her marriage to George McManus, Sr., stage actor. She came here a year and a half ago. She is survived by one other son, Charles McManus, of New York. George lives here.

2 comments on “Ghoul News – Cartoonist Death Notices

  1. While I wouldn’t call him my favorite, I count Powers as one of the greats. Don’t judge him by those silly Joys and Glooms characters. His editorial cartoons were beautifully rendered, and his humor work , sometimes done in an intentionally naive style, was very funny stuff. You want to see bad cartooning, just open up today’s paper or the latest New Yorker.


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