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Charles Saxon Cartoons

An inventory of his cartoons at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MD
Date: 16 Dec 2008

Biographical History

Charles David Saxon (1920-1988) was an American cartoonist and illustrator. He is most famous for the many cartoons he did for The New Yorker magazine, including 92 cover illustrations.

A graduate of Columbia University while still in his teens, the Brooklyn native began his professional career as editor of the magazine Ballyhoo. Saxon left his next gig at Dell Publishing for service during World War II, where he saw action as a bomber pilot in Europe. It was after the War, in 1943, that Saxon had his first cartoon published in The New Yorker. He joined the staff there in 1956 and went on to produce 725 cartoons for the magazine during his long career. Saxon also did a significant amount of advertising work for a wide range of clients—American Airlines, Chivas Regal, Kodak, Hertz, Metropolitan Life. His work has appeared in virtually every major magazine outlet in the U.S.

Saxon received numerous honors over the course of his career—awards from the Society of Illustrators, a Gold Medal from the Art Directors Club of New York and an honorary degree from Hamilton College (N.Y.) in 1972. In 1980, he received the National Cartoonists Society's prestigious Reuben Award. There are currently three published collections of Charles Saxon's cartoons: Oh, Happy, Happy, Happy! (1960), One Man's Fancy (1970) and Honesty Is One of the Better Policies (1984).

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Charles Saxon Cartoons contains original cartoon illustrations for Bennett Cerf's book Out on a Limerick (New York: Harper, 1960), including a caricature of Cerf and a cartoon related to the National Book Award. There is no text with the drawings, although some are recognizably for well-known limericks such as "There was a young lady of Niger" and "There once was a man with a beard." The cartoons are on lightweight paper in heavy black pencil.

Arrangement of the Collection

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


Cerf, Bennett -- Out on a limerick.
Saxon, Charles, 1920-1988.


American wit and humor, Pictorial.
Caricatures and cartoons -- United States.
Cartoonists -- United States.
Illustration of books.
Illustrators -- United States.

Genres and Forms

Cartoons (humorous images)



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Charles Saxon Cartoons,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

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