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Bert Whitman Papers

An inventory of his cartoons at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: –
Date: 1968

Biographical History

Bert Whitman (1908-1990) was an American editorial cartoonist and comics artist.

Bert Whitman was born in Brooklyn on July 27, 1908. A self taught artist, Whitman worked for the Los Angeles Times at age 16. He drew for the Detroit Mirror from 1929 until 1932 and was on the staff of the Cincinnati Enquirer during 1937. Whitman then began working on comic books. From 1939 until 1945, Whitman contributed to projects produced by Fox Comics, Fawcett, DC Marvel and Novelty Comics. He also created Mr. Ex for the Chicago Tribune Comic Book which first appeared in January 1941. It was later moved to the Tribune’s main comics page but was cancelled in the summer of 1943.

Whitman also worked on a variety of syndicated comic strips in the 1940s. Whitman wrote Cynthia and drew Debbie Dean for the New York Post Syndicate from 1942 until 1949. Comics historians have speculated that Debbie Dean ended after Whitman used the word "dope" in one of the strips which the censorship board objected to.

Following his time at the Miami Herald from 1948 to 1952, Whitman began working as an editorial cartoonist for the Stockton Record in Stockton, California where he stayed until moving on to the Phoenix Gazette in 1969.

Whitman was a member of the American Cartoonists Society and was recognized by a variety of organizations. He was a three time winner of the American Cancer Society Award in 1953, 1954, and 1956 and received the Disabled American Veterans Citation in 1958. Whitman won ten straight Freedom Foundation Awards and honored with their Distinguished Service Award. The National Conference of Christians and Jews Award was given to him in 1956 and 1963.

Whitman, also an avid painter, had his works exhibited by the San Francisco Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and at various smaller galleries. Bert Whitman died of natural causes on December 10, 1990 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Bert Whitman Papers are organized into four series: Cartoons, Sketches, Correspondence and Miscellaneous.

There are 200 original, numbered editorial cartoons drawn by Whitman for the Stockton (Calif.) Record during the 1950s and 1960s in the Cartoons series. The cartoons are signed by Whitman, but most of the cartoons are undated, but a few having dates stamped on the back.

Also in the Bert Whitman Papers are 26 rough pencil Sketches with captions.

Correspondence contains approximately 30 pieces of correspondence from readers (1937-1967). Included are both pieces of fan mail and hate mail. Of particular interest is a signed letter from J. Edgar Hoover thanking Whitman for sending him an original cartoon of Hoover that was published in the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Finally, a folder of Miscellaneous contains a photograph of Whitman (1966) and an assessment of the monetary value of 150 of the cartoons (1967) and a brief biography.

Arrangement of the Collection

The Cartoons are arranged by number in order from #1-100 followed by a second set numbered #1-50. The Sketches, Correspondence and Miscellaneous are arranged as received.


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


Whitman, Bert.

Corporate Bodies

Stockton Record (Stockton, Calif.)


American wit and humor, Pictorial.
Caricatures and cartoons -- United States.
Cartoonists -- United States.
Cold War -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Editorial cartoons -- United States.
Editorial cartoons -- California.
Eisenhower, Dwight D. (Dwight David), 1890-1969 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Peace -- United States.
Political cartoons.
World politics -- 1945-1989 -- Caricatures and cartoons.

Genres and Forms

Cartoons (humorous images)
Editorial cartoons.



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Bert Whitman Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Bert Whitman, 1967-1968.

Table of Contents

Cartoons circa 1957-1968




Index to cartoons


Index to cartoons

The following is a list of predominant people, places and subjects appearing in the editorial cartoons in this collection. The list is not exhaustive. Some subjects may require you to browse with alternative terms.

B= Box, F=Folder. For example: B1F1= Box 1 Folder 1.