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Bill Crawford Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Crawford, Bill, 1913-1982
Title: Bill Crawford Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1949-1968
Quantity: 9.67 linear ft.
Abstract: 709 editorial cartoons drawn for the Newark News and the Newspaper Enterprise Association and 5 magazine illustrations.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Bill Crawford (1913-1982) was an award-winning American editorial cartoonist.

William “Bill” Crawford was born on March 18, 1913 and grew up in Hammond, Indiana. His father, a banker, encouraged him to be serious about drawing and Crawford won a cartoon contest as a high school student in Cleveland, Ohio. Crawford studied fine art and sculpture at Ohio State University where he edited the comic magazine Sun Dial, and after receiving a B.A. in 1935, went abroad to study painting and drawing in Paris at the Grand Chaumiere.

Originally a sports cartoonist, Crawford worked at the Washington Post and the Washington Daily News from 1936 to 1938 before joining the Newark News. Crawford defended powerful cartoons that took strong positions. In March 1962, he left for the Newspaper Enterprise Association, replacing John Fischetti as chief editorial cartoonist. Although his cartoons were widely reprinted while with the Newark News, Crawford’s cartoons were distributed to over 700 newspapers in the United States and Canada through the NEA until Crawford’s retirement in 1977.

Crawford was active with the National Cartoonists Society, serving as president from 1960 to 1961. He was named NCS best editorial cartoonist four times (1956-1958, 1966) and received the Silver T-Square award in 1973. Crawford, also a sculptor, created the NCS Reuben award sculpture. In 1970, the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists presented Crawford with the National Headliner Award.

Crawford’s gags and illustrations also appeared in national magazines; he illustrated 20 books and also taught at the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Arts and Rutgers University. In 1956 and 1959, Crawford toured with the U.S. State Department to entertain military forces in Germany and France.

Bill Crawford retired in 1977 and died of pneumonia at George Washington University Hospital in Washington D.C on January 6, 1982.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Bill Crawford Papers consists of 2 series. Cartoons comprise the bulk of the collection with 602 original cartoons drawn for the Newark News and 107 original cartoons produced for the Newspaper Enterprise Association. The cartoons from the Newark News are undated but the NEA cartoons are from 1967 and 1968 but lack specific months and days. The undated cartoons span the period from approximately 1949 to 1962.

Crawford frequently depicted issues of interest to suburban Essex County, New Jersey including local New Jersey politics (as well as sometimes New York politics) and national and international affairs. Crawford used a copious amount of labels in his cartoons. Political contestants appear as squabbling children, and bewildered elephants and donkeys scour the landscape for voters. Rockets dubbed "Cost of Living" shoot out of sight, and automobiles named "Foreign Aid" chase vehicles called "Military Budget." Of particular interest is Crawford's portrayal of Nikita Khrushchev whom he often dubbed simply as "K".

The cartoons were drawn on Glarco illustration board with ink and crayon with captions appearing in blue pencil. Many of the cartoons feature heavy, dramatic shading and notations about their size and publication. Dimensions of the original art vary, however the majority are approximately 19"x 22". Several cartoons have captions that were crossed out and replaced with an alternative caption. Those cartoons have been filed under their original caption.

In addition to the inventory and index below, a partial inventory listing the captions of approximately 100 cartoons is also available at Special Collections Research Center.

Also in the collection are 5 magazine illustrations. Three appeared in Life and also one in New Republic and one in Collier's. Crawford signed the drawing for New Republic as "Dale".

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Arrangement of the Collection

Cartoons are arranged in a rough alphabetical fashion, located in folders for each letter of the alphabet.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Related Material

Special Collections Research Center has collections of over one hundred cartoonists. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing.

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Subject Headings


Crawford, Bill, 1913-1982.
Eisenhower, Dwight D. (Dwight David), 1890-1969 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Khrushchev, Nikita Sergeevich, 1894-1971 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-1994 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Rockefeller, Nelson A. (Nelson Aldrich), 1908-1979 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Truman, Harry S., 1884-1972 -- Caricatures and cartoons.

Corporate Bodies

Democratic Party (U.S.) -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Newspaper Enterprise Association.
Republican Party (U.S. : 1854- ) -- Caricatures and cartoons.
United Nations -- Caricatures and cartoons
United States. Congress -- Caricatures and cartoons.

Associated Titles

Newark evening news.


American wit and humor, Pictorial.
Caricatures and cartoons -- New Jersey.
Caricatures and cartoons -- United States.
Cartoonists -- New Jersey.
Cartoonists -- United States.
Cold War -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Editorial cartoons -- New Jersey -- Newark.
Editorial cartoons -- United States.
Elections -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Peace -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Taxation -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Traffic fatalities -- Caricatures and cartoons.
World politics -- 1945-1989 -- Caricatures and cartoons.


United States -- Politics and government, 1945-1989 -- Caricatures and cartoons.

Genres and Forms

Cartoons (humorous images)
Drawings (visual works)
Editorial cartoons.



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Bill Crawford Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of William Crawford, 1968-1970.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: –
Date: circa 1980
Revision history: 8 Sep 2008 - converted to EAD (MRC); 3 Nov 2009 - added detailed inventory and index (SK)

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Editorial cartoons
Undated circa 1949-1962
Oversize 1, Folder 1 A (20 items)
Oversize 1, Folder 2 A (20 items)
Oversize 1, Folder 3 A (20 items)
Oversize 1, Folder 4 A (9 items)
Oversize 2, Folder 1 B (16 items)
Oversize 2, Folder 2 C (13 items)
Oversize 2, Folder 3 C (10 items)
Oversize 2, Folder 4 D (12 items)
Oversize 2, Folder 5 E (12 items)
Oversize 3, Folder 1 F (18 items)
Oversize 3, Folder 2 G (8 items)
Oversize 3, Folder 3 H (15 items)
Oversize 3, Folder 4 H (13 items)
Oversize 4, Folder 1 I (16 items)
Oversize 4, Folder 2 I (12 items)
Oversize 4, Folder 3 I (16 items)
Oversize 4, Folder 4 J (6 items)
Oversize 4, Folder 5 K (4 items)
Oversize 4, Folder 6 L (23 items)
Oversize 5, Folder 1 M - Hoover Commission cartoon is labeled May 21, 1955 (13 items)
Oversize 5, Folder 2 M (12 items)
Oversize 5, Folder 3 N (15 items)
Oversize 5, Folder 4 N (15 items)
Oversize 5, Folder 5 O (20 items)
Oversize 5, Folder 6 O - Einstein cartoon is labeled April 20, 1955 (14 items)
Oversize 6, Folder 1 P - one cartoon is labeled Jan 15, 1961 (11 items)
Oversize 6, Folder 2 R (13 items)
Oversize 6, Folder 3 S (16 items)
Oversize 6, Folder 4 S (16 items)
Oversize 6, Folder 5 S (16 items)
Oversize 7, Folder 1 T (20 items)
Oversize 7, Folder 2 T (20 items)
Oversize 7, Folder 3 T (20 items)
Oversize 7, Folder 4 T (20 items)
Oversize 7, Folder 5 T (8 items)
Oversize 8, Folder 1 T - one cartoon is dated April 20, 1955 (21 items)
Oversize 8, Folder 2 U (3 items)
Oversize 8, Folder 3 V (4 items)
Oversize 8, Folder 4 W (23 items)
Oversize 8, Folder 5 W (22 items)
Oversize 8, Folder 6 Y (13 items)
Oversize 8, Folder 7 untitled (4 items)
Oversize 9, Folder 1 A-B 1967 (17 items)
Oversize 9, Folder 2 C-D, F, H 1967 (16 items)
Oversize 9, Folder 3 I-J, L 1967 (16 items)
Oversize 9, Folder 4 N-P 1967 (16 items)
Oversize 9, Folder 5 Q-S 1967 (11 items)
Oversize 9, Folder 6 T 1967 (10 items)
Oversize 9, Folder 7 V-Y, untitled 1967 (10 items)
Oversize 9, Folder 8 A-B, M,-N, P, T, W, untitled 1968 (11 items)
Magazine illustrations
Oversize 8, Folder 8 Collier's - "The League Lives On" - skeleton holding a syringe labeled narcotics 19 Dec
Oversize 8, Folder 8 Life Magazine - Eino Felliikkinnenn (Ben Miller) undated
Oversize 8, Folder 8 Life Magazine - Jack Williams, Pat Kingdon, Red Buttons, Ellen Hanley undated
Oversize 8, Folder 8 Life Magazine - Yetta and Noblese, Solen Burry, Nancy Walker undated
Oversize 8, Folder 8 New Republic - Rep. High Command #1, Senator Wherry (Just Call me Ken) undated - signed as "Dale"

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Index to cartoons

The following is a list of predominant people, places and subjects appearing in the editorial cartoons in this collection. The list is not exhaustive. Some subjects may require you to browse with alternative terms.

B= Box, F= Folder. For example: B1F1= Box 1 Folder 1.

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