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Ralph Yoes Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MD
Date: 2 Dec 2008

Biographical History

Ralph Yoes (1922-1999) was an American editorial cartoonist.

Ralph Yoes was born on February 15, 1922. He joined the staff as the editorial cartoonist for the San Diego Union in 1952 and in 1967 moved to the San Diego Evening Tribune which allowed Yoes to have more creative freedom over his cartoons. Yoes also produced caricatures of famous figures for distribution through Copley News Service, owner of the Union and Evening Tribune.

Yoes’ work was included in the compilation, A Nation Grieved: the Kennedy Assassination in Editorial Cartoons. His cartoons were also used to illustrate the Encyclopedia Britannica annual yearbooks. He won several Freedoms Foundation awards including the George Washington Honor Medal in 1953.

Ralph Yoes retired from the Evening Tribune in 1985 and died on August 30, 1999.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Ralph Yoes Papers are divided into Cartoons and Correspondence.

Cartoons contains 382 original editorial cartoons drawn by Yoes and published by the San Diego Union and the San Diego Evening Tribune from 1964 to 1965 and 1967 through 1969. Two cartoons do not bear any date information and there is more than one cartoon for some dates.

Yoes’ style featured loose brush strokes and shapes frequently appear as merely outlines without any shading. In many cartoons, generous amounts of white space dominate the image as well as large borders. In this particular collection, a large majority of cartoons caricature Charles De Gaulle. Yoes also uses a lion to represent Britain. Of interest are Yoes' cartoons about college student protestors, illegal drug use, Russia’s growth as a naval power and his cartoons acknowledging the 50th anniversary of the Soviet Union.

The cartoons were drawn exclusively with ink on paper. Traces of pencil are visible. Many of the cartoons have ragged edges having been torn from a bound pad and others have trimmed edges. Several cartoons are mounted on red illustration board. Overall dimensions for mounted cartoons are 11” x 14” with an image size of approximately 10 ½” x 13” Unmounted cartoons measure 12” x 18”. Captions and dates appear in pencil, some are crossed out. Some have engraver stamps on back. Many have blue notes taped on the back from the newspaper regarding publication and any special instructions.

Correspondence (1953, 1958-1965) contains three folders of incoming correspondence primarily from elected officials and publishers. Many letters thank Yoes for the gift of original cartoons. Other correspondents are requesting Yoes cartoons for publishing or exhibition. Of particular interest are signed letters from Senators Ted Kennedy, Strom Thurmond and Hubert Humphrey as well as a letter from Richard Nixon during his vice presidency which he signed "Dick Nixon". The Kennedy and Humphrey letters are about the Civil Rights Act of 1964. For a brief list of other prominent correspondents, please see the inventory.

Arrangement of the Collection

Cartoons and correspondence are 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

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

Subject Headings


Brezhnev, Leonid Ilích, 1906-1982 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Gaulle, Charles de, 1890-1970 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Humphrey, Hubert H. (Hubert Horatio), 1911-1978 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Humphrey, Hubert H. (Hubert Horatio), 1911-1978 -- Correspondence.
Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Kennedy, Edward M. (Edward Moore), 1932-2009 -- Correspondence.
Kosygin, Aleksey Nikolayevich, 1904-1980 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Nasser, Gamal Abdel, 1918-1970 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-1994 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-1994 -- Correspondence.
Thurmond, Strom, 1902-2003 -- Correspondence.
Yoes, Ralph -- Archives.

Corporate Bodies

Copley Press, inc.
United States. Congress. -- Caricatures and cartoons.

Associated Titles

San Diego evening tribune.
San Diego union.


American wit and humor, Pictorial.
Caricatures and cartoons -- California -- San Diego.
Caricatures and cartoons -- United States.
Cartoonists -- California -- San Diego.
Cartoonists -- United States.
Civil rights movements -- United States.
Cold War -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Demonstrations -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Editorial cartoons -- California -- San Diego.
Editorial cartoons -- United States.
Inflation (Finance) -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Student protesters -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Taxation -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
World politics -- 1955-1965 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
World politics -- 1965-1975 -- Caricatures and cartoons.


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

Genres and Forms

Cartoons (humorous images)
Editorial cartoons.



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Ralph Yoes Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Ralph Yoes, 1965-1966, 1968-1969.

Table of Contents



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.