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McCutcheon, John T. (John Tinney), 1870-1949

 Person

Dates

  • Existence: May 6, 1870 - June 10, 1949

Biographical Information

John Tinney McCutcheon was born on May 6, 1870 near South Raub in Tippecanoe County, Indiana. His parents were Civil War veteran Captain John Barr McCutcheon, Sheriff of Tippecanoe County, and Clara (Glick) McCutcheon. Young John McCutcheon spent his early childhood in the rural areas surrounding Lafayette, Indiana. He had two brothers, George Barr McCutcheon and Ben F. McCutcheon, and one sister, Jessie McCutcheon (Nelson). His brother George Barr would later earn fame as a novelist.

McCutcheon entered Purdue University and was a founding member of the University's first fraternity, Sigma Chi. He was also a co-editor of the University's first yearbook, the Debris.

After graduating from Purdue with a B.S. degree in 1889, McCutcheon moved to Chicago and was hired to work for the Chicago Morning News (later known as the Chicago Record) as an artist. He began doing front page cartoons for the newspaper in 1895. In 1903, McCutcheon joined the staff of the Chicago Tribune and served in capacities as both an editorial cartoonist and occasional foreign correspondent until his retirement in 1946. As a cartoonist, much of his work appeared on the front pages of the Chicago Tribune, and the subject matter of his cartoons included issues on local, national, and international politics, war, journalism, societal changes, and economic hardships. McCutcheon traveled a great deal during his career, and covered many political events such as presidential campaigns, the Spanish-American War, and World War I.

In 1932, McCutcheon was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning for his work titled "A Wise Economist Asks a Question." McCutcheon also created illustrations for his friend George Ade, a fellow Hoosier, Purdue Sigma Chi member, and Purdue graduate; the illustrations appeared in magazines such as Cosmopolitan, as well as books written by Ade. Due to the wide exposure and success of his professional work, McCutcheon is often referred to as the Dean of American Cartoonists.

McCutcheon married Evelyn Shaw on January 20, 1917, and they had four children (John Jr., Shaw, Barr, and Evelyn, who died as a small child). The couple owned a small island in the Bahamas, Salt Cay, which the family referred to as Treasure Island. Following his death in 1949, McCutcheon's widow Evelyn distributed his vast collection of original drawings to various institutions in the Midwest, including Purdue University. Evelyn McCutcheon also contributed to the posthumous publication of John McCutcheon's autobiography, Drawn from Memory.

Found in 11 Collections and/or Records:

Bruce Rogers papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSA 35
Scope and Contents Correspondence, examples of work, photographs and ephemera relating to the life and career of typographer and book designer Bruce Rogers.

Ernest A. Bureau scrapbooks

 Collection — Box: Box 1
Identifier: MSA 285
Abstract Scrapbooks containing clippings from Purdue Alumnus, Purdue Engineering Review, and Purdue Engineer

George Ade papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSA 4
Scope and Contents The George Ade Papers (1878-1947; 29 Cubic ft.) document the personal and professional life of author, humorist, and playwright George Ade. The collection includes original writings, manuscripts, personal correspondece, photographic materials, and artifacts. Notable persons include: John T. McCutcheon, William Dean Howells, Mark Twain, Booth Tarkingtoon, James Whitcomb Riley, W.C. Fields, Will Rogers, Elsie Janis, Theodore Dreiser, "Chick" Evans, Orson Welles, Kin Hubbard, Theodore...

Indiana Society of Chicago

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSP 132
Scope and Contents The collection consists of one folder which contains five items from the Indiana Society of Chicago.

Injun Summer Wood Block Printing Plates

 Collection — Box: Box 1
Identifier: MSR 13
Scope and Contents Two wooden printing blocks used to print the Injun Summer cartoon by John T. McCutcheon.

John T. McCutcheon cartoons and drawings

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSA 1
Scope and Contents The John T. McCutcheon Cartoons and Drawings (1903-1945; forty-two oversized boxes) consist of drawings and sketches created by John McCutcheon throughout his career at the Chicago Tribune, as well as some print versions of his cartoons. The cartoons cover a wide variety of subjects relating to United States history, documenting daily life and political matters from the early 1900s through the 1940s. Some of the many subjects include: railroads, Woodrow Wilson, Uncle Sam, John Purdue, Purdue...

John T. McCutcheon papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSA 278
Abstract Box 11: McCutcheon's handwritten account of the origins of Injun Summer and The Hunter's Moon (original pencil notes in JTM's hand); McCutcheon's handwritten account of the origins of Bird Center cartoons (original pencil notes in JTM's hand); Prints (reproductions) and newspaper clippings of some of McCutcheon's popular cartoons, circa 1930s; Sketches, original pen and ink drawings for Ade's Pink Marsh, Artie, and Stories publications; Color sketches for the newspaper (several originals in...

John T. McCutcheon scrapbook

 Collection — Box: Binder 1
Identifier: MSP 243
Scope and Contents One scrapbook of John McCutcheon's African safari, "In Africa" [photocopy]

Joe McCutcheon collection of John T. McCutcheon printed material

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MSP 274
Abstract Four framed cartoons from John T. McCutcheon's time at the Chicago Tribune.

Purdue Club of Chicago scrapbook

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MSP 216
Abstract Letters, invitations, programs, rosters, printed ephemera, and clippings documenting the early years of the Purdue Club of Chicago.

Scrapbooks of John T. McCutcheon cartoons

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSP 14
Scope and Contents Scrapbooks of John McCutcheon cartoons, as cut out from the newspaper. Compiled by a friend of the McCutcheon family and later given to the family.