Irvin Dugan - Cartoonist

Irvin Dugan - Cartoonist
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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 schools.
    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.  They 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 Pulitzer Prize.
    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.