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Reg Manning Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: –
Date: 1967

Biographical History

Reginald Manning (1905-1986) was a Pulitzer Prize winning American editorial cartoonist.

Born April 8, 1905 in Kansas City, Missouri, Reg Manning moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 1919 with his brother and their widowed mother. While in high school, Manning received his only formal art training and drew cartoons. After graduation, he pursued freelance work for two years before being hired as an artist and photographer at the Arizona Republic in 1926 (then the Arizona Republican), replacing Webb Smith.

At first Manning drew few editorial cartoons and instead focused on a full page Sunday current events cartoon, "The Big Parade" which appeared from October 1926 through April 1948. It included a variety of elements commenting on local issues as well as other features including Traffic Jam, a safety cartoon, Ruff Riter, and the Snooper’s Dirt Diary. Manning wanted work as a comic strip artist but his editorial cartoons proved more popular and newspapers across the United States began to reprint them. In 1937 Manning became affiliated with the McNaught Syndicate and his cartoons would eventually appear in over 125 newspapers. Manning worked out of his home and with McNaught's mailing center in Arizona to produce six cartoons a week while he also contributed a weekly cartoon to the Arizona Republic. Manning's work was well known as having an openly conservative tone.

In 1951 Manning received the Pulitzer Prize for one of his cartoons about the Korean War, "Hats". Also in May of that year, "Reg Manning Day" was held at Arizona State University with Barry Goldwater as the master of ceremonies. This event honored 25 years of Manning's work. Manning traveled giving chalk talks to soldiers and spoke as part of several college and university lecture series. He also served on the board of the Desert Botanical Garden of Arizona and was a member of the National Cartoonists Society as well as the Arizona Press Club, the Phoenix Press Club and the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists. The United States Treasury Department gave Manning a citation for his efforts to promote savings bonds.

Manning also received over a dozen awards from Freedoms Foundation, the 1957 National Safety Council Award and the Abraham Lincoln Award in 1971 and 1972. Manning's b books include two books about Arizona, The Cartoon Guide to Arizona (1938) and What Kinda Cactus Izzat? (1941), a guide to desert plants in the southwest. He also illustrated From Tee to Cup (1954) and a compilation of his cartoons was published in 1980 as Best of Reg. His other artistic work included jewelry, stationary, watercolor paintings and fabric designs.

Manning worked for the Arizona Republic for over 50 years and reduced his work load in 1980. Reginald Manning died in Phoenix, Arizona on March 10, 1986.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Reg Manning Papers are divided into four series consisting of original cartoon artwork and illustrations, published material, biographical material and correspondence.

The Original Artwork series (1941-1964) contains primarily editorial cartoons published by the Arizona Republic and syndicated by the McNaught Syndicate but also single panel cartoons and book illustrations.

There are approximately 2,607 original editorial cartoons, 2,194 of which were syndicated and approximately 413 for local publication in the Arizona Republic. Typically a separate local cartoon appeared in the Arizona Republic, while Manning produced other cartoons specifically for the McNaught Syndicate. However, it appears several cartoons may have been used in both as they are labeled "Republic" but also bear a sticker from the McNaught Syndicate.

Several recurring characters and themes can be found in Manning’s work such as Uno Who, a man representing the average American taxpayer. Manning expressed thoughts about how the government works under the title "The Wizards of Washington". At the end of each year, Manning produced a cartoon tying together major events of the year and his April Fool's Day cartoons joked about unlikely events and political partnerships. Manning also regularly drew cartoons about fatal automobile accidents around the holidays to promote traffic and highway safety.

Manning's local cartoons addressed issues including struggles with California to obtain Colorado River water, property taxes, the appeal of Arizona as a snowbird destination, Arizona’s soaring population and the growth of Phoenix through annexation.

The cartoons were drawn with pen, ink and crayon on illustration board and measure approximately 11" x 14 1/2". Captions appear in heavy black ink at the top. Syndicated cartoons bear the name of the McNaught Syndicate. Manning mailed in cartoons several in advance of their scheduled publication. Please note, the date on the cartoon is the date on which it was scheduled to be mailed, not necessarily the publication date. Because Manning produced cartoons several days in advance, there are several cartoons in the collection that were not published, according to notations, because they were no longer timely. On some cartoons, Manning gave instructions to the syndicate to alter the cartoon depending on election outcomes. See cartoons from July 1960 for examples of this. Also of interest is a cartoon about John Glenn's space orbit which was to only be published if the mission was successful. The date of publication for cartoons appearing in the Arizona Republic is written on the local cartoons.

Also included is approximately 280 pieces of original artwork, 11" x 14 1/2" in size, from four different single panel cartoons, Little Itchy-Itchy (1945), The Little Savage (1946-1949), The Ordinary Americans (1954-1955), and Oh Say Can You See (1961-1963). Little Itchy-Itchy depicted the Japanese during World War II. The Ordinary Americans profiled average people holding various occupations. Oh Say Can You See--? illustrated patriotic themes. There are illustrations done in ink (traces of pencil are visible) from the book From Tee to Cup which measure approximately 14 1/2" x 23".

Correspondence (1954) contains letters from readers including ordinary citizens and businessmen. The correspondence is typically about Manning’s series, The Ordinary Americans. Correspondents include a miner who disagrees with Manning’s portrayal of salesmen, a unionized waitress and an 80 year old woman. Several copies of cartoons are attached to correspondence.

Biographical material consists of a typed biography of Manning as well as one photograph. Both are undated.

Published material (1954-1969) contains several newspaper and magazine articles about Manning and material related to From Tee to Cup.

Arrangement of the Collection

Original artwork is divided into cartoons and illustrations. Editorial cartoons arranged chronologically but separated within each year by type of cartoon- those published locally in the Arizona Republic and syndicated cartoons. Panel cartoons are divided by title are also arranged in chronological order. Illustrations for From Tee to Cup are in page order number.


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

The following items have been removed from the collection and transferred to Rare Books:

Special Collections Research Center has the papers of more than a hundred cartoonists. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing.

Subject Headings


Castro, Fidel, 1926- -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Eisenhower, Dwight D. (Dwight David), 1890-1969 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Fannin, Paul J. (Paul Jones), 1907-2002 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Gaulle, Charles de, 1890-1970 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Goldwater, Barry, 1938- -- 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.
Macmillan, Harold, 1894-1986 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Manning, Reg, 1905-1986 -- Archives.
Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-1994 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Truman, Harry S., 1884-1972 -- Caricatures and cartoons.

Corporate Bodies

Democratic Party (U.S.) -- Caricatures and cartoons.
McNaught Syndicate.
Republican Party (U.S. : 1854- ) -- Caricatures and cartoons.
United Nations -- Caricatures and cartoons.
United States. Congress. -- Caricatures and cartoons.

Associated Titles

Arizona republic.
Little itchy itchy.
Little savage.
Oh say can you see?
Ordinary Americans.


American wit and humor, Pictorial.
Arms race -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Caricatures and cartoons -- United States.
Cartoonists -- Arizona.
Cartoonists -- United States.
Cities and towns -- Growth -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Cold War -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Editorial cartoons -- Arizona.
Editorial cartoons -- Phoenix (Ariz.)
Editorial cartoons -- United States.
Elections -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Pulitzer Prizes.
Taxation -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Traffic fatalities -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Water rights -- Arizona.
World politics -- 1945-1989 -- Caricatures and cartoons.


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

Genres and Forms

Cartoons (humorous images)
Clippings (information artifacts)
Drawings (visual works)
Editorial cartoons.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Reg Manning Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Reg Manning, 1964, 1973, 1985.

Table of Contents

Original Artwork

Biographical Material


Published material

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, For example: B1= Box 1