Saturday, September 10, 2016

South of Market Street — Memorials to TAD

[1] “Fitz trains and trains and trains —”, Tad, July 18, 1904.

Millions knew him. He analyzed human nature in pictures as well as Dickens did in words (…) Prize fight enthusiasts with half an inch of forehead, or Charles Dana Gibson, with a brow like the dome of St. Peters will tell you “Tad was a great man.” Arthur Brisbane

THOMAS Aloysius Dorgan, “born south of Market Street,” was one of several people who “went West” on May 2, 1929, and was memorialized the same month in San Francisco’s South of Market Journal. Five pages by three authors — Newspaper Pals Throughout Country Mourn “TAD” As Real Friend. 

THE MOST interesting thing about these tributes is the information about his close relationship with Arthur Brisbane, editor of Hearst’s New York Journal. Seemingly TAD’s writing was inspired by “Big George.” 

THE TEMPLATE for the comic sporting cartoon was invented by Jimmy Swinnerton, when he was a young staff artist in the 90s at the Hearst Examiner where his sparring partner was Homer Davenport. But it was TAD Dorgan who was the greatest inspiration, artistically and verbally, on all sporting cartoonists, and many later acquaintances like Milt Gross (TAD’s 1912 office boy). Among well-known TAD-inspired sporting cartoonists that turned into daily strip artists — scores of others are footnotes now, or completely forgotten in that field — were George Herriman, Bud Fisher, Harry Hershfield, and Rube Goldberg. All gifted cartoonists who mostly wrote their own scenarios.

[3] Newspaper Pals Throughout Country Mourn “Tad” As Real Friend, 5-page in memoriam feature in South of Market Journal, Vol. 4, No. 6, May 1929, with texts by Edgar T. Gleeson, Damon Runyon, and Pat Frayne. Page Ten.
[4] Page Eleven. “…He made the world laugh when his heart was breaking…”
[5] Page Twelve. Stories of Tad by Damon Runyon.
[6] Arthur Brisbane (b.1864), New York Journal editor, ca. 1904 photo. Brisbane was called ‘Big George’ by Tad.
[7] Page Thirteen.
[8] In Soft? — Beware. Tad, Washington Times, Dec 12, 1920.
[9] Page Fourteen. Sports Figure Passes by Pat Frayne
[10] Tales about “Tad.” Miss Laura Foster of the San Francisco Bulletin discovered ‘Tad” about seven years ago. The Wasp, April 2, 1904.
[11] Did You Ever take Notice? Tad double cartoon, BEFORE — and AFTER the boss arrives, San Francisco Examiner, Feb 12, 1909.
[12] South of Market Journal (subtitled: ‘Official Organ South of Market Boys, Inc.’) is published monthly. Headquarters: Whitcomb Hotel, San Francisco. Cover illustration, Vol. 4, No. 12, Nov 1929. There’s also a sister organisation, the South of Market Girls.

In memory of TAD — Thomas Aloysius Dorgan
April 29, 1877, San Francisco, California – 
May 2, 1929, Great Neck, Long Island, U.S.A.

[NOTE] South of Market is the name of a downtown San Francisco district. Market Street was a main artery which William Randolph Hearst picked for his Examiner building at the North-East corner of Market and Third streets, right in the center. One opened in 1898 and went down in the earthquake of 1906. And one opened in 1911, which can still be visited at 5 Third Street.

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