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John Fischetti Cartoons

An inventory of his cartoons at Syracuse University

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

Biographical History

John Fischetti (1916-1980) was an American Pulitzer Prize winning editorial cartoonist.

Born in Brooklyn, New York on September 27, 1916, John R. Fischetti was the son of an Italian barber. In his teens during the Great Depression, Fischetti traveled the country doing odd jobs. For a period of time, Fischetti worked in a hotel where one of his influences, cartoonist Rollin Kirby lived.

After spending three years studying at the Pratt Institute (1937-1940), Fischetti moved to California and worked for Disney Studios for nine months until he began to suffer from eye strain. He then pursued freelance work and ended up in Chicago as a cartoonist at the Chicago Sun in 1941. His freelance work appeared in publications including Esquire, the Saturday Evening Post and Collier's.

Fischetti then served from 1942 to 1945 as a radio operator and Army sergeant in Europe during World War II. He worked for Stars and Stripes from 1945 to 1946 with Dick Wingert among other World War II cartoonists. Fischetti then held the position of cartoonist for the New York Herald Tribune for two years, leaving for the Newspaper Enterprise Association syndicate where he stayed until 1962 when he went back to the New York Herald Tribune. During this time, Fischetti sought to combine the humor cartoon with the editorial cartoon and felt the Herald Tribune was a good fit for his work. His work was syndicated through the Publisher's Newspaper Syndicate.

In 1967, Fischetti left New York for the Chicago Daily News after the Herald Tribune folded where he was chief political cartoonist until 1978 when that paper went out of business. His final position was cartoonist for the Chicago Sun-Times which he held until his death in 1980.

Fischetti's cartoons were recognized with many awards. A Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning was awarded to Fischetti in 1969 not for a particular cartoon but for the body of his 1968 work. He also received two Sigma Delta Chi awards (1956, 1958) and an American Civil Liberties award. Fischetti was also an active member of the National Cartoonists Society and received the Silver T-Square award in 1973 and the NCS's best editorial cartoon award four straight years from 1962 to 1965. A book of his cartoons, Zinga Zinga Za, was published in 1973.

John R. Fischetti died on November 18, 1980. Following his death, the Fischetti Endowment was started at Columbia College in Chicago. The endowment provides scholarships to journalism students and monetary awards to editorial cartoonists through the annual Fischetti Editorial Cartoon Competition.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The John Fischetti Cartoons consists of more than a hundred original editorial cartoons from the New York Herald Tribune (1962-1967), and one from the Chicago Sun-Times (1978). Approximately half of the cartoons are dated with years only; the remainder are undated. Each bears a copyright notice from either the New York Herald Tribune or the Publishers Newspaper Syndicate and various notations appear in the margins in pencil and crayon. Fischetti primarily worked in pen and ink on illustration board with screening.

Fischetti's cartoons mix politics and current events with social humor. His cartoons were syndicated widely and the majority focus on national and global events with a handful addressing issues local to New York City (the few local-oriented cartoons address the election of Mayor John Lindsay and the 1965 blackout). Many of the cartoons reflect the style of magazine cartoons and many depict unnamed figures commenting on current events in a humorous fashion. Of particular interest are Fischetti's cartoons that drew attention to the emergence of right-wing Republicans a s well as the racist influence of the Ku Klux Klan and the civil rights movement.

Arrangement of the Collection

The cartoons are arranged chronologically by year with undated cartoons located at the end of the collection. Within each year, the cartoons are arranged alphabetically by caption.


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


Fischetti, John R.
Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973 -- Caricatures and cartoons.

Associated Titles

New York herald tribune.


American wit and humor, Pictorial.
Caricatures and cartoons -- United States.
Cartoonists -- New York (N.Y.)
Cartoonists -- United States.
Civil rights movements -- United States -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Communism -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Editorial cartoons -- New York (N.Y.)
Editorial cartoons -- United States.
Political cartoons.
Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
World politics -- 1945-1989 -- Caricatures and cartoons.


United States -- Politics and government -- 1963-1969 -- Caricatures and cartoons.

Genres and Forms

Cartoons (humorous images)
Editorial cartoons.



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

John Fischetti Cartoons,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of John Fischetti, 1967.

1978 cartoon, gift of Betty Bewley, 2020.

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.