MILITARY & WW II
IRVIN DUGAN (born James Irvin Dugan) was born in Guyandotte, West
Virginia, on February 8, 1892, the son of James and Lizzie W. Dugan.
After receiving his early art instruction in Huntington, W.V., public schools, he studied at the
Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and the New School of Design in Boston.
During World War One he worked as a draftsman for the Navy in Portsmouth,
Virginia, where he married Anna Berry in 1919. He returned to Huntington
to work for an engraving firm, and in 1927 joined the Huntington
Publishing Company as staff artist, his work appearing mainly in the
Huntington Advertiser, and the Sunday combined edition, the Herald Advertiser.
His alter-ego in the cartoons was “Adam
Goodfellow,” who was
easily recognizable by his glasses, corn-cob pipe, and flowing white
mustache. Dugan explained, “Since he was ‘short of stature
and long on wisdom’ like Adam in Shakespeare's ‘As You Like It,’ I gave
him that name.” Adam appeared in nearly every political cartoon
he drew from 1927 to 1957.
Dugan would think about a cartoon the day before, sleep on
it, and then draw rough sketches for his editor’s approval. He spent the
rest of the day working on the final ink drawing. In Huntington he
championed such city improvements as the flood wall, one-way streets
downtown and a new airport. His drawings supported the war effort during
World War II. He was an avid fan of local public and higher education,
and had a special love for the athletic teams from the area
He was blind in one eye from his youth, and in 1950 he
developed a detached retina, which plunged him into darkness. In a
then-new procedure his good eye was repaired, but he was absent from the
Huntington newspapers for fourteen months. A colleague wrote, “When Adam
dropped from sight, Dugan dropped from Sight. And sight dropped from
Dugan...but Dugan fought back. ‘Dugan’ is a fighting name—and a fighting
man. When an artist wins a fight it ends in a ‘draw’.”
His drawings were displayed at the 1939 New York
World’s Fair and the 1939 Golden Gate Exposition in San Francisco.
also are part of the permanent collections at the Princeton University
Library, the Huntington Library at San Marino, California, and the
Albert T. Reid Cartoon Collection at the University of Kansas Journalism
Historical Center. Several of his cartoons were nominated for the
Upon his retirement from the Huntington Publishing
Company in 1957, he moved to Phoenix, Arizona, where he worked for nine
years retouching photographs for the Phoenix Gazette.
In 1974 Irvin Dugan donated his collection of drawings,
as well as newspaper clippings, correspondence and other printed
materials to the Special Collections department in the University
Libraries at Marshall University. He sent additional items, including two
scrapbooks, in 1979.
His wife Anna died in 1980; Irvin Dugan passed
away in Phoenix on March 17, 1982, at
the age of ninety.