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Dan Dowling Cartoons

An inventory of his cartoons at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: WHL/CAD
Date: Oct 1982

Biographical History

Dan Dowling (1906-1993) was an American editorial cartoonist who worked for the Omaha World Herald, the New York Herald Tribune and the Kansas City Star.

Born in O'Neill, Nebraska on November 16, 1906, Dan Dowling spent his childhood in Iowa. Dowling was influenced by the cartoons of Jay Norwood “Ding” Darling that appeared in the Des Moines Register and Leader and Carey Orr. Dowling attended the University of California-Berkeley from 1924 until 1928. Wanting to travel, Dowling joined a dance band and as the drummer got to travel the world. In 1931 he moved to Chicago where he briefly studied at the Academy of Fine Art before working as a police reporter.

In 1933 Dowling joined the Associated Press in New York as a retouch artist. Learning of an opening with the Omaha World Herald, Dowling moved back to the Midwest in 1937 to become the paper's cartoonist not having had any on the job cartooning experience. Dowling stayed in Omaha until World War II when he joined the infantry and served four years as a captain.

During the war, he submitted cartoons to the Omaha World Herald and the New York Herald Tribune. Dowling landed a job with the latter after the war and his editorial cartoons became syndicated in 1949. Dowling stayed at the New York Herald Tribune until the paper went out of business upon which he became the editorial cartoonist for the Kansas City Star where he stayed until his retirement.

Dowling won two Freedom Foundation Awards (1956 and 1960), a Christopher Award in 1960, a Sigma Chi Delta award (1960) and served as founding president of the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists from 1956 to 1958.

Dan Dowling retired to Carmel by the Sea, California and died of congestive heart failure on July 27, 1993.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Dan Dowling Cartoons consist of 235 original political cartoons from the years 1960-1966 that appeared in the New York Herald Tribune and were also syndicated. The cartoons are only marked with years. A few are completely undated. The majority of the cartoons are from 1966.

Dowling's portrayal of figures was typically less realistic and instead very caricaturesque. This can be seen in his treatment of President Lyndon Johnson as a cowboy hat wearing leader who regularly encounters cacti, clearly eliciting Johnson's Texas roots. Like other editorial cartoonists, Dowling visually represented the gamut of domestic and international political issues. For example one of the most heavily represented themes in this particular collection of Dowling cartoons is the economic effect of the Vietnam War. Few cartoons in the collection address issues local to New York.

The cartoons bear the copyright of the Publishers Newspaper Syndicate and the New York Herald Tribune. The cartoons were created on Glarco illustration board with India ink, brush, graphite and crayon as well as Benday screening.

Arrangement of the Collection

The cartoons are arranged in chronological order by year. Within each year the cartoons are arranged alphabetically by caption. A folder of completely undated cartoons is located at the end of the collection.


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


Dowling, Dan, 1906-1993.

Corporate Bodies

New York herald tribune.
Publishers newspaper syndicate.


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

Genres and Forms

Cartoons (humorous images)
Editorial cartoons.



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Dan Dowling Cartoons,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Dan Dowling, 1966.

One cartoon, 1956, gift of Randy Rosen, 2012.

Table of Contents


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. The links direct to the cartoon(s) about that topic.