News of Yore: C.R. Macauley

Brooklyn Eagle Personalities

C.R. Macauley
Editorial Cartoonist
[Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 9/22/1929]

Charles R. Macauley’s first cartoon appeared in the Canton Repository in 1892, on the defeat of John L. Sullivan by James J. Corbett…he loses patience with people who ask him if Canton is in Ohio, where it is…He’ll bet on it because he was born there…although he can’t prove it because he hasn’t been there in 35 years…he has drawn for Puck, Judge, Life, the World, and the New York Herald…he started out in life as a bookkeeper…discovered that he couldn’t add, and was eventually fired for drawing a caricature of his boss in the company ledger…he became a cartoonist two weeks after winning a prize offered by the Cleveland Press for the best cartoon on the subject of Thanksgiving…he conceived the unusual idea of including a Turkey in the winning composition…and got a job on the Cleveland World two weeks later as cartoonist…

when he works he wears a blue smock and a stiff collar…his favorite hates are hypocrisy and intolerance…he likes the theater, the movies and all sports, among which he classes chess…he likes the color blue, when it’s touched off with a complementary of yellow…he gained considerable reputation as an artistic, albeit amateur book-binder…he’s never written a testimonial letter or interviewed Bernard Shaw, whom he classes as the world’s foremost humorist…he thinks Mussolini is a synonym for applesauce…his godfather and mentor, who was President William McKinley, did his best to talk him out of art into commerce, unsuccessfully…back in the days when “T.R.” was bullying the Big Navy into being, it was Macauley who drew the “Big Stick” and sent it thumping its way down the Ages…

he has known five Presidents intimately, although one of his very best friends was the late Chuck Connors, Mayor of Chinatown…one of his most cherished possessions is a personal letter written him by the late President Wilson a few weeks before his death…he gets goose pimples when you mention the name of Volstead…and Prohibition has him to thank for its emblem, the camel…he has no hobbies, and collects anything…he prefers Biographies to all other forms of literature, and smokes cigarettes in a long, black holder…he has read Einstein and claims actually to understand the Theory of Relativity…which he’ll explain to anybody who’ll listen…he is an eager student of Astronomy, and once spent two weeks behind the Telescope at Mount Wilson, same being the largest in the world…he has several pet hates but can’t remember what they are…

he averages seven hours of sleep every night, although he doesn’t need more than five…with the exception of the Executive Offices, he has the only office in the Eagle Building that has a carpet…he has no superstitions, and eats fish on Friday only because he likes it…his chief ambition is to make a good after-dinner speech, but he has never been able to gratify it…his office walls are covered with contemporary cartoons signed by Briggs, Rollin Kirby, Ned Brown, and Maurice Ketten…he thinks there should be a law against thin soup…he is married and likes it…his favorite sport is trout fishing in blue water, and he wears tortoise-shell glasses…he smokes cigars when he has to…his middle initial stands for Raymond…and he declares vehemently that if he had it to do all over again he’d be a cartoonist. —Rian James

[Charles Raymond Macauley was born in Canton, Ohio on March 29, 1871, according to The Artists Year Book (1905). In the 1880 U.S. Federal Census, he was the first of three children born to John and Abbie; they lived in Austintown, Ohio. A few years later the family returned to Canton where Macauley would meet his godfather, William McKinley, the future president of the United States.

In 1900 Macauley was a cartoonist in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he boarded at 1416 Arch Street, near the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. The following year he returned to New York City. In 1910, Macauley, his second wife, Emma, and daughter, Clara, lived in Manhattan at 203-205 West 112th Street; his occupation was cartoonist at a newspaper. He moved to California where the 1920 census recorded him and his third wife, Edythe, in Los Angeles at 6778 Hollywood Boulevard; he was a cartoonist in the motion picture industry. The book, Los Angeles from the Mountains to the Sea (American Historical Society, 1921), has an excellent profile, up to 1920, of Macauley.

The couple returned to New York City. Macauley’s Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoon, Paying for a Dead Horse, can be viewed at the Ohio Newspaper Association website. The cartoon was published in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle on February 23, 1929; the award was announced on May 13, 1930. The Macauleys lived in Brooklyn at 231 Ocean Avenue, as recorded in the 1930 census. Macauley succumbed to multiple ailments on November 24, 1934 in New York CIty. Excerpts from the New York Times article of November 25:

Charles Raymond Macauley, the newspaper cartoonist…died yesterday morning in St. Vincent’s Hospital after an illness of only a few days. The causes of death were pneumonia, a cardiac malady and low blood pressure.…From 1901 to 1904 he was engaged in literary work…Besides a number of novels which he wrote and illustrated, Mr. Macauley wrote several photoplays. His written works, besides “Fantasmaland,” were “The Red Tavern.” “Whom the Gods Would Destroy,” “Keeping the Faith,” “The Man Across the Street” and “The Optimistic Spectacles.”…

…Mr. Macauley was born at Canton, Ohio, on March 29, 1871, the son of John K. and Abbie Burry Macauley. He went to public school in his home town but devoted more time to sketching his teachers than to study…For forty years Mr. Macauley’s cartoons had appeared in leading newspapers and periodicals in New York and Philadelphia, but for three years previous to his coming East he had drawn cartoons for newspapers in Canton and Cleveland….Walt McDougall, veteran cartoonist, said of Macauley that he was “a heaven-inspired thirty-third degree master cartoonist.”

He married three times. His first wife, whom he married in 1893, was Miss Clara Hatter. They had one daughter, Clara. He married Miss Emma Worms in 1897. In 1914 he married Miss Edythe Belmont Lott, who survives. Mr. and Mrs. Macauley lived at the Hotel Chelsea, 222 West Twenty-third Street….]

One comment on “News of Yore: C.R. Macauley

  1. wow this is cool, Clara daughter of Charles is my great grandmother, we have a few items from Charles, his silver flatware set monogrammed M a signed first edition of fantasmaland with additional illustrations my aunty has several drawings and my uncle has the Pulitzer Prize Charles won, Clara married Howard I Earl.
    you can contact me at

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