Collection inventory

Special Collections home page

Gene Basset Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: -
Date: 1984

Biographical History

Gene Basset (1927- ) is an American cartoonist primarily known for his editorial cartoons.

Born in Brooklyn, New York on July 24, 1927, Gene Basset served with the United States Coast Guard from 1944 to 1946. He then attended the University of Missouri from 1946 to 1947 and also studied at Cooper Union from 1947 to 1950. Basset also studied at Brooklyn College, the Art Students League and the Pratt Institute. He received degrees in both art and psychology.

During his career, Basset worked in several artistic capacities. From 1951 to 1953, Basset was a sketch artist at the Indianapolis Times. He then drew sports and theatrical cartoons for the Brooklyn Eagle before working as a sports cartoonist at the Boston Post. In 1962, after a brief stint as the Honolulu Star Bulletin's first editorial cartoonist, Basset became the chief editorial cartoonist with Scripps Howard newspapers. Beginning in 1972, his work was also syndicated by the United Feature Syndicate. In 1982, Basset joined the staff of the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Basset was a member of the National Cartoonists Society and the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists of which he was president in 1973. Basset also taught art at the Famous Artists School in Westport, Connecticut from 1957 to 1962. The Population Institute named one of his cartoons the Best Editorial Cartoon in 1974 and his cartoons were reprinted in magazines such as Time and Newsweek. His work has been exhibited at the Pratt Institute and in 2005 drawings done by Basset during a trip to Vietnam were exhibited at Gustavus Adolphus College.

Basset retired from the Atlanta Journal Constitution at the end of 1992. Gene Basset's son, Brian Basset worked as an editorial cartoonist for the Seattle Times during the 1980s and 1990s and is now a comic strip artist working on Adam at Home and Red and Rover.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Gene Basset Papers consist primarily of original artwork for editorial cartoons as well as proofs.

Cartoons (1962-1969) contains over 1,300 original cartoons. Most of these cartoons are dated. They were drawn by Basset while he was with Scripps Howard.

Basset's cartoons depict national and international events during this time period. Receiving frequent treatment were the political pursuits of Barry Goldwater and changes within the Republican Party, as well as the escalation and increasing cost of the Vietnam War.

Worth noting are Basset's cartoons about inflation, Congressional pay raises and the regulation of smoking and tobacco advertising. Also, following the 1968 presidential election there are several cartoons about the electoral system and electoral college. Also of interest are cartoons depicting Senator Ted Kennedy and the Chappaquiddick scandal and President Richard Nixon's attempt to appoint Clement Haynsworth to the Supreme Court.

Basset worked with pen and ink and also crayon on illustration board and paper. Traces of pencil are visible and some contain zipatone dot screening. Captions appear in ink. Original art varies in size, however most cartoons are 11 1/2" x 14".

Proofs includes six undated black and white proofs of cartoons otherwise not appearing in the collection.

Arrangement of the Collection

Cartoons are arranged primarily in chronological order. Two boxes of undated cartoons are arranged alphabetically by caption.


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


Basset, Gene, 1927-
Gaulle, Charles de, 1890-1970 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Goldwater, Barry M. (Barry Morris), 1909-1998 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Ho Chi Minh, 1890-1969 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Humphrey, Hubert H. (Hubert Horatio), 1911-1978 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Kennedy, Edward M. (Edward Moore), 1932-2009 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Kennedy, Robert F., 1925-1968 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Khrushchev, Nikita Sergeevich, 1894-1971 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Mao, Zedong, 1893-1976 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
McNamara, Robert S., 1916-2009 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-1994 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Wallace, George C. (George Corley), 1919-1998 -- Caricatures and cartoons.

Corporate Bodies

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


American wit and humor, Pictorial.
Caricatures and cartoons -- United States.
Cartoonists -- United States.
Cigarette industry -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Civil rights movements -- United States -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Cold War -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Demonstrations -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Editorial cartoons -- United States.
Elections -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
World politics -- 1945-1989 -- Caricatures and cartoons.


United States -- Politics and government -- 1963-1969 -- Caricatures and cartoons.

Genres and Forms

Cartoons (humorous images)
Editorial cartoons.
Proofs (printed matter)



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Gene Basset Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Gene Basset, 1965, 1968-1969, 1972 and Thom Rooke, 2016

Table of Contents