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Carey Orr Cartoons

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: -
Date: [2003?]

Biographical History

Carey Orr (1890-1967) was a Pulitzer prize winning American editorial cartoonist.

Born in Ada, Ohio on January 17 1890, Carey Cassius Orr later moved to Spokane, Washington to live with his father. As a teenager, he took a correspondence course in cartooning. But following high school, Orr studied math and engineering at his father's urging. Orr went on to find success as a semi-professional baseball pitcher and used his earnings to study at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts.

Orr worked briefly for the Chicago Examiner and also as editorial cartoonist for the Nashville Tennessean from 1912 to 1917. While in Nashville, Orr was frequently the target of editorials by the opposition paper, the Banner ran by Major E.B. Stahlman. Orr's work also appeared in Literary Digest and Cartoons Magazine. In 1917, Orr returned to Chicago as an editorial cartoonist for the Chicago Tribune, filling in for John T. McCutcheon. Orr created the "Tiny Tribune" strip that appeared in the paper; each of the four panels caricatured a section of the paper. Eventually, Orr replaced John T. McCutcheon.

Orr received the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning in 1961 for his October 8, 1960 cartoon. He also won several awards from the Freedoms Foundation and was presented with a gold medal from the United States government for his World War I cartoons. He was also featured on the television program, This is Your Life. Orr also is credited with drawing the "The Kernel Cootie" strip from approximately 1919 to 1922.

Orr retired from the Chicago Tribune on January 1, 1963. He died on May 16, 1967 at Evanston Hospital.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Carey Orr Cartoons are arranged in two series and contain original editorial cartoons, colored proofs of original cartoons and scrapbooks of published cartoons.

Cartoons (1917-1962) consists of approximately 5,314 original editorial cartoons drawn by Orr, primarily for the Chicago Tribune. Orr's work focused on local, state, national and international politics. His cartoons often feature lots of text used to label particular elements as well as signage and dialogue. From 1943 onward, for many dates, there are also photostat proofs or copies of the same cartoon that have been colored.

Early works are dated with only years. Other cartoons often contain more than one date, in the form of stamps with engraver's dates and other dates possibly indicating intended publication. For the purposes of this inventory, xxx dates have been used. Original works measure 14 1/2" x 17 1/2" and were drawn in ink on illustration board. Photostats measure approximately 9" x 10".

Please note, part of the inventory below is a detailed item-level description of cartoons from 1916-1928. Items from these years have been assigned numbers. The remaining years have been described at the box level with dates only.

The Scrapbooks (1943-1962) series contains 17 scrapbooks of Orr's color editorial cartoons. The originals have been disassembled and foldered; one has been retained in its original form. Accompanying some scrapbooks are lists of dates with some title information and information about cartoons not represented in the scrapbooks.


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


Coolidge, Calvin, 1872-1933 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Eisenhower, Dwight D. (Dwight David), 1890-1969 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Harding, Warren G. (Warren Gamaliel), 1865-1923 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Hoover, Herbert, 1874-1964 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Orr, 1890-
Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Truman, Harry S., 1884-1972 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Wilson, Woodrow, 1856-1924 -- Caricatures and cartoons.

Corporate Bodies

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

Associated Titles

Chicago tribune.


American wit and humor, Pictorial.
Caricatures and cartoons -- Illinois -- Chicago.
Caricatures and cartoons -- United States.
Cartoonists -- Illinois -- Chicago.
Cartoonists -- Tennessee -- Nashville.
Cartoonists -- United States.
Cold War -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Editorial cartoons -- Illinois -- Chicago.
Editorial cartoons -- Tennessee -- Nashville.
Editorial cartoons -- United States.
Industrial relations -- Caricatures and cartoons.
New Deal, 1933-1939 -- Caricatures and cartoons.


United States -- Politics and government-- 20th century -- Caricatures and cartoons.

Genres and Forms

Cartoons (humorous images)
Editorial cartoons.



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Carey Orr Cartoons,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Carey Orr, 1963.

Retirement cartoon in Oversize 50 is a gift of Marian Doherty, 2021.

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