Jack Ziegler

On this date in 1942, satirist and cartoonist Jack Ziegler was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. He grew up in Forest Hills, Queens, in a Catholic household. His mother was a homemaker and his father sold pigment for a paint company. Ziegler developed an interest in cartoons at a young age, buying used comics on outings to Times Square. After graduating from Fordham University with a degree in communication arts, Ziegler joined the Army Reserve in Monterey, Calif.

While working at CBS network transmission facility, he started selling cartoons to various publications. The first cartoon he sold to The New Yorker was an illustration of Edgar Allan Poe contemplating which animal should say “Nevermore” — a turtle, moose or pig. His cartoons began appearing regularly in The New Yorker in 1974 and he was widely credited with bringing new life to the magazine.

Former cartoon editor Bob Mankoff described his drawings as “the platonic ideal of what a cartoon should look like.” During his lifetime he produced over 24,000 cartoons and sold over 3,000.

Ziegler also published several anthologies of drawings, including Hamburger Madness, How’s the Squid?: A Book of Food Cartoons; Olive or Twist?: A Book of Drinking Cartoons; and You Had Me at Bow Wow: A Book of Dog Cartoons. Most of his published work and personal papers are housed at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum at Ohio State University.

He married his first wife, Jean Ann, in 1969 and they had three children: Jessica, Benjaim and Maxwell. After divorcing, he married Kelli Gunter in 1996. He died at age 74 while living in Lawrence, Kansas. (D. 2017)

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