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Darling, Jay Norwood (21 October 1876–12 February 1962), political cartoonist and conservationist, known as “Ding,” was born in Norwood, Michigan, the son of the Reverend Marcellus Warner Darling, a public school administrator and Congregational minister, and Clara R. Woolson. Darling grew up from the age of ten in Sioux City, Iowa, a frontier community surrounded by prairie teeming with wildlife. He spent many days and nights hunting, fishing, camping, and horseback riding in the pristine natural bounty that provided what he described as the “pleasantest recollections” of his long and eventful life....

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Geisel, Theodor Seuss (02 March 1904–24 September 1991), author, known as Dr. Seuss, was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, the son of Theodor Robert Geisel, a brewer, and Henrietta Seuss. Geisel began his literary career by contributing jokes, essays, and cartoons to his high school newspaper and continued it at Dartmouth College, where he edited, wrote, and drew for ...

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Gibson, Charles Dana (14 September 1867–23 December 1944), illustrator and social cartoonist, was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts, the son of Charles De Wolf Gibson, a salesman, and Josephine Lovett. He showed youthful skill in art, achieving local recognition as a silhouette cutter at the age of five. His parents and teachers encouraged him, and while still a schoolboy, he worked briefly with the sculptor ...

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Outcault, Richard Felton (14 January 1863–25 September 1928), cartoonist, was born in Lancaster, Ohio, the son of well-to-do parents, J. P. Outcalt and Catherine Davis. After graduating from McMicken Academy in Cincinnati, where he majored in art, Outcault was hired to do mechanical drawings for ...

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Schulz, Charles M. (26 November 1922–12 February 2000), cartoonist, was born Charles Monroe Schulz in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Carl Schulz, a barber, and Dena Halverson Schulz. Young Schulz became a devotee of comics and cartoons at an early age, and from childhood onward he was known as “Sparky,” after a horse named Sparkplug featured in one of his favorite comics, ...

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Steinberg, Saul (15 June 1914–12 May 1999), graphic artist, was born in Râmincul-Sarat, Romania, the son of Moritz Steinberg, a printer and bookbinder, and Rosa Iacobson Steinberg. In later years, Steinberg recalled Romania as “a masquerade country.” The work of Steinberg's life was largely concerned with masks of reality and the reality of masks. The only difference between Americans and others, he noted, was that they wore their masks more lightly....

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Thurber, James (08 December 1894–02 November 1961), writer and cartoonist, was born James Grover Thurber in Columbus, Ohio, the son of Charles Leander Thurber, a political clerk, and Mary Agnes Fisher. In 1901 the Thurbers moved to Falls Church, Virginia, near Washington, where Thurber’s father had a job as secretary for a congressman. The next year, Thurber was blinded in his left eye by an arrow in a game of William Tell with his two brothers. That year, Thurber’s father lost his job when his employer was not renominated, and the family returned to Columbus. Thurber attended local schools and was elected president of his senior class at East High, from which he graduated with honors in 1913. He enrolled at Ohio State University but dropped out in his sophomore year “just to read.” He returned in 1915, became an editor of the college daily newspaper and editor in chief of the humor monthly magazine, acted for the drama club, and formed a close friendship with classmate ...