Monday, May 17, 2010

John Francis Knott (1878-1963)

John Francis Knott, editorial cartoonist for the Dallas Morning News for nearly fifty years died Saturday, 16 February 1963. Knott was the creator (in 1906) of the cartoon figure “Old Man Texas,” who became a symbol of that state. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1936. He was born in Pilsen, Austria, 7 December, 1878, and spent most of his early years in Sioux City, Iowa. He studied art and painting in Chicago and Munich, Germany.

“When Big Springs was host to the West Texas Chamber of Commerce several years ago Knott drew a cowboy knee deep in water. It so happened that the community had long been suffering from a drouth. So when the cartoon came out, his followers were indeed surprised. They were even more surprised when it rained that very day, drenching the entire town and bringing to an end the plaguing dry spell.” - Dallas, 16 March 1946.

Top illustration from War Cartoons by John Francis Knott, Dallas: Southwestern Printing Co., 1918. A detailed biographical sketch can be found HERE.

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