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Bill Gallo Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: WHL/CAD
Date: Aug 1984

Biographical History

Bill Gallo (1922-2011) was an award-winning American sports cartoonist.

Born December 28, 1922 in New York City and raised in Astoria, Queens, William "Bill" Gallo grew up wanting to work for a newspaper. His father, an immigrant from the Basque region of Spain, worked at the the Spanish-language paper La Prensa. Gallo acquired his art education through Columbia University and what is now the School of Visual Arts through the GI Bill.

In 1941, he joined the staff of the New York Daily News and worked as a reporter, caption writer and staff artist. He left in 1942 to serve with the United States Marine Corps but returned in 1945 after a tour of duty that included Iwo Jima. In 1954 his first cartoon was published in the Daily News and he became the paper's sports cartoonist in 1960, after the death of cartoonist Leo O'Melia. Not only did Gallo depict many figures in the sports world, he has also met and befriended many prominent athletes including Muhammad Ali and baseball's Joe Dimaggio.

Gallo has been an active member of the National Cartoonists Society. He served two terms as NCS president and won many of their awards including best sports cartoonist (1968-1970, 1972-1973, 1983-1985, 1987-1988), the Silver T-Square Award (1978), and the Elzie Segar Award (1976). In 1998 NCS recognized him with the Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award. Gallo's work has also won several Page One Awards from the New York Newspaper Guild. Gallo has been a member of the New York Boxing Writers (serving as president), the Baseball Writers Association, Professional Football Writers, Turf Writers and The New York Press Association. His work is represented in the permanent collections of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

An estimated 15,000 cartoons by Gallo have appeared in the Daily News and in 2000, Gallo published Drawing a Crowd: Bill Gallo's Greatest Sports Moments. As of 2009, Gallo was still writing a weekly sports column for the Daily News.

Gallo died in May 2011 of complications of pneumonia.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Bill Gallo Papers, consist of four series. The main series, Cartoons contains almost 900 original sports cartoons drawn by Gallo for the New York Daily News during the 1960s. Gallo covered all sports but professional baseball, professional football and boxing are heavily represented in this particular collection. Only a handful of cartoons focus on college sports with particular attention given to the National Invitation Tournament.

Aside from regular depictions of the New York Mets, Yankees, Rangers, Giants and Jets and their star players, coaches and managers, Gallo commented on rivalries (such as that between the New York Yankees and the Boston "Rob" Sox as Gallo dubbed them) and the standings within particular leagues and divisions. Outside of the New York area, Gallo gave particular attention to the Los Angeles Dodgers (formerly of Brooklyn). Gallo also utilized several recurring characters including Basement Bertha and Denny Deflator as well as the "three and a half guys" who were fans of basketball and the "half of a guy" who like hockey.

Providing more than simply a caricature of a particular team or event, Gallo frequently presented analysis of a sporting event as if it were a short sports story and even explained the history of particular teams or figures such as the Southern Illinois University's mascot, the Saluki. A handful of cartoons in this vein are referred to by Gallo as "columntoons". Gallo also depicted the life of sportswriters who according to him, practically lived at Madison Square Garden as well as the process he went through in producing a daily cartoon. Also worth noting is Gallo's running gag depicting conflict between husbands who like to watch sports on television and their wives, with the wives typically drawn as being locked in the closet for the duration of Sunday afternoon's televised games.

Almost all of the cartoons are undated and therefore have been arranged in alphabetical order by caption. Gallo drew the cartoons on illustration board with pen and ink and dot screening. Captions appear in pencil. The cartoons vary in size, with most measuring approximately 11 1/4" x 14 ½". There are 13 cartoons without captions and 25 oversize cartoons which can be found at the end of the series.

Sketches contains 17 undated items by Gallo drawn primarily in blue pencil on paper. The sketches measure 8 ½" x 11 and many contain written ideas for cartoons.

Correspondence includes incoming correspondence (1960-1967, almost all typed), primarily from individuals thanking Gallo for original cartoons. Correspondents include William Shea, New York Giants coach Allie Sherman, Robert O. Fishel of the New York Yankees, and Soupy Sales as well as representatives from the Chicago Cubs, the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Also of interest are a few pieces of fan mail.

Newspapers is comprised of two issues (final and night owl editions) of the January 17, 1970 New York Daily News in which a cartoon by Gallo appeared.

Arrangement of the Collection

The cartoons are arranged alphabetically by caption with oversize cartoons located at the end of the collection. Correspondence is arranged in chronological order.


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

See also the Warren King Papers for additional cartoons (editorial) from the New York Daily News from this time period.

Special Collections Research Center has collections of over one hundred cartoonists. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing.

Subject Headings


Ali, Muhammad, 1942- -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Berra, Yogi, 1925- -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Durocher, Leo, 1906-1991 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Ewbank, Weeb -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Francis, Emile -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Frazier, Joe, 1944- -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Gallo, Bill.
Griffith, Emile -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Houk, Ralph, 1919- -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Lombardi, Vince -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Mantle, Mickey, 1931-1995 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Namath, Joe Willie, 1943- -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Sherman, Allie -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Stengel, Casey -- Caricatures and cartoons.

Corporate Bodies

Los Angeles Dodgers (Baseball team) -- Caricatures and cartoons.
New York Giants (Football team) -- Caricatures and cartoons.
New York Jets (Football team) -- Caricatures and cartoons.
New York Knickerbockers (Basketball team) -- Caricatures and cartoons.
New York Mets (Baseball team) -- Caricatures and cartoons.
New York Rangers (Hockey team) -- Caricatures and cartoons.
New York Yankees (Baseball team) -- Caricatures and cartoons.

Associated Titles

Daily news (New York, N.Y. : 1920)


American wit and humor, Pictorial.
Baseball -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Basketball -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Boxing -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Caricatures and cartoons -- New York (N.Y.)
Caricatures and cartoons -- United States.
Cartoonists -- New York (N.Y.)
Cartoonists -- United States.
Coaches (Athletics) -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Football -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Hockey -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Horse racing -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Sports -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Sports general managers -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Sportswriters -- Caricatures and cartoons.

Genres and Forms

Cartoons (humorous images)
Preliminary sketches.



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Bill Gallo Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Bill Gallo, 1966-1967, 1969-1970.

Table of Contents

Cartoons 1960-1969