Ink-Slinger Profiles: Ray Hoppman

Raymond Irving “Ray” Hoppman was born in New Haven, Connecticut on April 6, 1887, according to his World War I and II draft cards. Information about his education and art training has not been found. In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, he was the youngest of four children born to Frederick and Katharine. His father was a preacher. The family lived in Dunkirk, New York at East 4th Street.

In 1910 the Hoppmans lived in Irvington, New Jersey at 6 Howard Street; his mother had passed away earlier. Hoppman was a commercial artist. He was employed at the New York Evening Telegram as early as 1914; that year his cartoons were copyrighted by the newspaper in the Catalogue of Copyright Entries, Part 1, Group 2: Pamphlets, etc. 1914, New Series, Volume 11, Numbers 7 and 8. The Judge, in its July 21, 1917 issue, reported the fifteenth annual convention of the American Press Humorists at the McAlpin Hotel in New York City. Among the new members elected to the group were Hoppman, Irvin S. Cobb, H.T. Webster and E.A. Bushnell. Hoppman signed his undated World War I draft card. He lived at 614 Nye Avenue in Irvington, New Jersey. His occupation was cartoonist at the New York Evening Telegram. His description was “5 ft 10 in, slender, gray eyes, light brown hair.” In 1919, he married Harriet, according to the 1930 census, and his Famous Fans panel began.

Hoppman and his wife lived in West Hoboken, New Jersey at 447 Clinton Avenue, as recorded in the 1920 census. He was a cartoonist for a newspaper. He produced a number of comics in this decade including Hank and Pete, Make-A-Comic, and Assorted Nuts.

Aberdeen American (South Dakota), 1/12/1924

In 1930 Hoppman lived in Dumont, New Jersey at 100 Randolph Avenue. He was a cartoonist for a trade publication. A Google search found a contents page with an article or cartoon titled “Slinging the Paint by Ray Hoppman” in a 1931 issue of the National Painters Magazine (Painting and Decorating Contractors of America). He produced the strip, Don’t Be Like That! (1935-1937), for the Van Tine Features Syndicate; he held the copyright according to the Catalogue of Copyright Entries, Part 1, Group 2: Pamphlets, etc. 1935 New Series, Volume 32, Number 9.

His address and occupation was the same in the 1940 census which showed that he had two years of high school education. (The census enumerator mistakenly recorded Hoppman’s first name as Morton, which was his neighbor’s name.) A Google search found a volume of the trade publication, The Progressive Grocer (1941), with this snippet of news on page 159, “Illustrations for these advertisements are drawn by Ray Hoppman whose work appears regularly in the editorial pages of The Progressive Grocer.” Hoppman signed his World War II draft card on April 25, 1942. According to the card, he was self-employed.

Apparently he retired in Florida. Hoppman passed away on May 3, 1974 in Winter Park, Florida, according to the Social Security and Florida Death Indexes.

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