Sunday, January 9, 2011

Clare Briggs (1875-1930)

You might think the beautiful John T. McCutcheon cartoon above appeared on the death of cartoonist Clare Briggs on 3 Jan 1930 but it actually marked the passing of the popular cartoonist from the staff of the Chicago Herald to the New York Tribune in 1914. McCutcheon’s dog is a marvel of sketchy pen and ink brilliance. Winsor McCay also drew a cartoon welcoming Briggs to the Big Apple.

Briggs, one of America's best-loved cartoonists, was born in Reedsburg Wisconsin on 5 Aug 1875 and landed his first job at age ten as a newspaper delivery boy in Dixon, Illinois. He began as a sketch artist on Hearst’s St. Louis Globe-Democrat in 1896 at $10 a week and then moved on to the New York Journal. He was sent to Chicago to work on Hearst’s Chicago Herald and Chicago American where he created A. Piker Clerk. His first Tribune cartoon (below) appeared 15 Feb 1914. Briggs remained with the Tribune until his death of pneumonia at 54 years of age.

His most widely known features were “When a Fellow Needs a Friend,” “Ain’t it a Grand and Glorious Feeling,” The Days of Real Sport,” and “Mr. and Mrs.”

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