Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Bill MacArthur

William Lyon “Bill” MacArthur was born in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada, on February 22 1903, according to the Manitoba, Canada, Birth Index at and a family tree. His parents were Peter Duncan MacArthur (1868–1928) and Annie Elizabeth Lyon (18781–1942).

The 1910 U.S. Federal Census recorded MacArthur and his parents in Chicago, Illinois, at 650 North Albany Avenue. His father worked with sheet metal.

In the 1920 census, MacArthur was naturalized and a department store clerk. His parents had an adopted son who was five years older than MacArthur. They resided in Leyden, Illinois, at 2710 Harlem Avenue.

MacArthur has not yet been found in the 1930 census. Regarding his art training, MacArthur may have studied at the Art Institute of Chicago or the Chicago Academy of Fine Art.

According to the 1940 census, MacArthur was married and had a twelve-year-old son, William Jr. The family tree said his wife was Cecilia Duzynski. The trio lived in Chicago at 6244 Wabansia Avenue. MacArthur was an artist in the publishing industry.

At some point MacArthur moved to California. A 1950 Los Angeles city directory listed MacArthur, an artist, at 71 La Sierra Drive, Arcadia, California. The 1952 directory had the same address and his employer was the LA Mirror.

American Newspaper Comics (2012) said MacArthur drew the strip The Life of General Ike for the Mirror Enterprises Syndicate. General Ike ran from May 19 to June 28, 1952.

The Editor & Publisher Syndicate Directory, Volume 35, 1960, said MacArthur and Dick Williams produced the illustrated column That’s Show Business.

Dallas Morning News 1/28/1960

MacArthur also caricatured new film releases.

Dallas Morning News 10/21/1962

The San Diego Union (California), August 1, 1965, reported three art exhibits in San Clemente and said: 

The paintings of Mr. and Mrs. William MacArthur are being exhibited at the Untied California Bank, San Clemente.

These and other works will be exhibited at the Arts-Crafts Fair Aug. 21 and 22 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at San Clemente Community Clubhouse. No admission will be charged.

MacArthur passed away September 5, 1973, in Orange County, California, according to the California Death Index. The Social Security Death Index said his last known residence was Dana Point, Orange County, California. MacArthur’s wife, Cecilia, passed away October 3, 1997.

—Alex Jay

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