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Charles Brooks Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: [Summit record]
Date: 2001-01-01

Biographical History

Charles G. Brooks (1920- ) is an American editorial cartoonist who worked for the Birmingham News for 38 years.

Charles Brooks was born in Andalusia, Alabama on November 20, 1920. He studied at Birmingham-South College starting in 1939. Wanting to focus on cartooning, he left for the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts in 1941 where he studied under Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist Vaughn Shoemaker.

Brooks enlisted in the Army and saw combat during World War II. Following his service, Brooks worked in Chicago producing cartoons for an advertising agency. In 1948, Brooks became the Birmingham News’ first editorial cartoonist. In the mid 1980s, Brooks retired from the Birmingham News.

Thirteen Freedom Foundation awards were presented to Brooks as well as a National VFW Award and a Sigma Delta Chi Award (1960). Brooks was president of the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists and in 1968 he was the president of the Alabama Chapter of the Sigma Delta Chi Journalism Fraternity. Brooks’ cartoons have been exhibited at the Birmingham Public Library, the National Portrait Gallery in London, and the Smithsonian.

Brooks edits the annual compilation Best Editorial Cartoons of the Year which was first published in 1973 and is a member of the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Charles Brooks Papers consist of consists of 2 series. The first series, Cartoons (1965-1969) contains 126 original, dated cartoons from Brooks' tenure at the Birmingham News. Brooks often portrayed the Southern point of view on national issues however few of the cartoons in this particular collection focus on specific Birmingham or Alabama issues. The Vietnam War and issues related to civil unrest dominated Brooks' subject matter during this time. The cartoons were drawn on illustration board primarily with ink and graphite.

The second series is Correspondence and Newspaper Clippings which contains 8 pieces of correspondence (1964-1967) sent to Brooks and 3 newspaper clippings (1960, 1967).

Arrangement of the Collection

Cartoons are arranged in chronological order. Correspondence and clippings are arranged as received.


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.

Related Material

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

Subject Headings


Brooks, Charles G., 1920-

Corporate Bodies

Birmingham news.


American wit and humor, Pictorial.
Caricatures and cartoons -- United States.
Cartoonists -- United States.
Editorial cartoons -- Alabama.
Editorial cartoons -- United States.
Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Political cartoons.
Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
World politics -- 1945-1989 -- Caricatures and cartoons.

Genres and Forms

Cartoons (humorous images)
Clippings (information artifacts)
Editorial cartoons.



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Charles Brooks Papers
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Charles Brooks, 1967-1970.

Table of Contents


Correspondence and newspaper clippings

Index to cartoons


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.