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Jon Kennedy Cartoon Collection, 1935-1988

Jon Kennedy Cartoon Collection, 1935-1988

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Jon Kennedy Cartoon Collection, 1935-1988 UALR.MS.0023

UALR Center for Arkansas History and Culture
401 President Clinton Avenue
Little Rock, AR, 72201

Profile Description

Creation: This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2014-04-21T16:04-0500

Repository: UALR Center for Arkansas History and Culture
Title: Jon Kennedy Cartoon Collection, 1935-1988
Dates: 1935-1988
Quantity: 42.5 Linear feet; 40 flat boxes, 5 document boxes
Identification: UALR.MS.0023


Arranged by material type--correspondence, clippings, cartoons--then chronologically by publication date. In years made up of two boxes, e.g. "Box 15-Box 16: Editorial Cartoons, 1974," the first box contains January-June, and the second box contains July-December.

Scope and Content

This collection contains the editorial cartoons of Jon Kennedy, artist for the Arkansas Democrat from 1941 to 1988. The cartoons range from the 1960s through the 1980s, though not every year is complete. Boxes 3-5 contain photocopies of cartoons clipped from the newspaper between 1959 and 1974. Boxes 6-45 contain original drawings. Correspondence, newspaper clippings and articles, photographs, and other materials are also part of the collection.

Biographical Note

Jon Kennedy was born 1918 August 19 in Springfield, Missouri. He attended public schools and went to college at Southwest Missouri State in Springfield. Kennedy's first job as an artist was with the Springfield Leader-Press at age 17. After the Arkansas Democrat installed an in-house engraving plant, they needed an artist for society layouts and photographic retouching. Kennedy, then 22, applied for the job. When he began working there in 1941, he was the first full-time cartoonist employed at an Arkansas newspaper. Kennedy worked at a wide variety of artistic jobs--story illustrations, sport cartoons, editorial cartoons, and locator maps. One of his editorial cartoons was reprinted by the New York Times in December 1941, the first of many to be used by the Times during the 1950s and 1960s. Within months of Kennedy's arrival in Arkansas, World War II began. In 1943, he enlisted and was inducted at Camp Robinson, but trouble with his right eye kept him confined to limited duty.

The army found outlets for his skill in producing training posters, and camp newspapers were eager for cartoons showing the lighter side of army life. During two and a half years in the service, Kennedy's byline became familiar to readers of "Yank," "Army Times," and many camp papers. Kennedy returned to Arkansas and the Arkansas Democrat after the war and continued one of the longest tenures of service with one newspaper in the nation. Over more than four decades, he has won many awards, and is a charter member of the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists. He retired from the Arkansas Democrat in 1988 after 47 years; his retirement cartoon appeared on 16 September.

His work has appeared in the Best Editorial Cartoons of the Year series, the New York Times editorial pages, and one book of his cartoons, "Look Back and Laugh," has been published. His special interest in the school dropout problem in Arkansas led to a national school poster business, Jon Kennedy Cartoons. His posters are used nationwide and deal with topics such as etiquette, courtesy, job attitudes, and tips for getting jobs. He is married to Opal Dillon Kennedy of Springfield, Missouri, and they have two sons.

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Arkansas--Politics and government--20th century
Editorial cartoonists--Arkansas
Editorial cartoons--Arkansas
Kennedy, Jon, 1918-
Kennedy, Jon, 1918-, donor


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is available for viewing at the Arkansas Studies Institute.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17-U.S. Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. The person using this material is liable for any infringement.

Copyright for correspondence in the collections belongs to those correspondents or their beneficiaries. Persons wanting to re-use those materials are advised to obtain permission from copyright holders.

Note: Contact UALR CAHC staff for information concerning reproduction rights.

Administrative Information

Citation Notes

Bibliographic citation:

John Kennedy Cartoon Collection, 1935-1988, UALR.MS.0023. UALR Center for Arkansas History and Culture, Arkansas Studies Institute, Little Rock.

Footnote or Endnote info:

Description of item, file or item number, box number, John Kennedy Cartoon Collection, 1935-1988, UALR.MS.0023.

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