|Born||John Barton Gruelle
December 24, 1880
Arcola, Illinois, United States
|Died||January 8, 1938
Miami Beach, Florida, United States
|Notable work(s)||Raggedy Ann|
Johnny Gruelle (December 24, 1880 – January 8, 1938) was an American artist, political cartoonist, children's book author and illustrator (and even songwriter). He is known as the creator of Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy. He had such confidence in his design that often he would create the final ink work without first sketching in pencil.
He was born John Barton Gruelle in Arcola, Illinois. His father Richard Gruelle was an artist affiliated with the Hoosier Group of Indiana artists. His first well known cartooning work was Mr. Twee Deedle which Gruelle created after he beat out 1,500 entrants to win a cartooning contest sponsored in 1911 by The New York Herald. Mr. Twee Deedle was in print from 1911 to 1914. Prior to this Gruelle had many single panel newspaper cartoons printed under the pen name "Grue", for example "Life In Eden" in 1907 and the sports cartoon "A Few More Weeks And Then" in 1910.
Gruelle gave his daughter Marcella a dusty, faceless rag doll which she found in the attic. He drew a face on the doll and named her Raggedy Ann. Marcella played with the doll so much, Gruelle figured other children would like the doll too. Gruelle's Raggedy Ann doll U.S. Patent D47,789 was dated September 7, 1915. In 1918, the PF Volland Company published Raggedy Ann Stories. Gruelle then created a series of popular Raggedy Ann books and dolls. These became Volland's major source of revenue.
Marcella Gruelle, after being vaccinated at her school for smallpox, was given an unidentified second shot without parental consent. She soon contracted diphtheria and died at the age of 13. After this blow, family friends described Gruelle as "possessed, with a heavy countenance, and ... with the only thing he would bear to have near him as a reminder of Marcella a rag doll."
Gruelle's "Raggedy Ann's Sunny Songs" was set to music by William H. Woodin, who in 1933 was appointed FDR's first Secretary of the Treasury. One of Gruelle's characters is Little Wooden Willie, a reference to Will Woodin.
Gruelle lived in the Silvermine section of New Canaan, Connecticut, where the dolls were first mass-produced, and later moved his home and company to neighboring Wilton, Connecticut. Gruelle spent a year in Ashland, Oregon from 1923–24. He had a long-standing heart condition, and died in Miami Beach, Florida on January 8, 1938, of a heart attack.
A partial list of works, several with complete text and illustrations available online for no charge or for sale.
- All About Cinderella (1916), republished as Cinderella (2012)
- My Very Own Fairy Stories (1917), republished as Raggedy Ann's Fairy Stories
- Raggedy Ann Stories (1918)
- Friendly Fairies (1919)
- Little Sunny Stories (1919)
- Raggedy Andy Stories (1920)
- Orphant Annie (1921)
- Eddie Elephant (1921)
- Johnny Mouse and the Wishing Stick (1922), republished as Adventures of Johnny Mouse (2012)
- The Magical Land of Noom (1922)
- Raggedy Ann and Andy and the Camel with the Wrinkled Knees (1924)
- Wishing Pebble (1925)
- Beloved Belindy (1926)
- Marcella - A Raggedy Ann Story - Marcella Stories (1929)
- Raggedy Ann's Magical Wishes (Book is undated)
- My Fairy Stories (2012), a collection of stories from My Very Own Fairy Stories
- Friendly Gnomes (2012), a collection of stories from Friendly Fairies
- Grimm's Fairy Tales (1914)
- Nobody's Boy  (1916)
- All About Hansel and Grethel (1917), republished as Hansel and Gretel (2012)
- All About the Little Small Red Hen  (1917)
- Sunny Bunny by Nina Wilcox Putnam (1918)
- The Bam Bam Clock by J.P. McEvoy (1920)
- Quacky Doodles' and Danny Daddles' Book (1916)
- "New Raggedy Ann Causing a Stir : It's an Open-and-Shut Case for the Creators' Family - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. 1987-11-26. Retrieved 2013-11-17.
- Johnny Gruelle, creator of Raggedy Ann and Andy, Patricia Hall, Pelican Publishing Company, 1993
- The Toledo News-Bee, February 18, 1907 page 10. "accessdate=2014-06-16".
- The Spokane Press, March 6, 1910. "accessdate=2014-06-15".
- Wayne Homren (2007-12-16). "William H. Woodin'S Political Journey And Musical Talent". Coinbooks.org. Retrieved 2013-11-17.
- "Southern Oregon Historical Society - Master List". Retrieved 2008-11-05.[dead link]
- "Johnny Gruelle - Biography". IMDB. Retrieved 2008-10-05.
- [dead link]
- "Raggedy Ann Stories by Johnny Gruelle - Free Ebook". Gutenberg.org. 2006-04-17. Retrieved 2013-11-17.
- "Friendly Fairies by Johnny Gruelle - Free Ebook". Gutenberg.org. 2004-02-01. Retrieved 2013-11-17.
- "Raggedy Andy Stories by Johnny Gruelle - Free Ebook". Gutenberg.org. 2005-12-22. Retrieved 2013-11-17.
- "Orphant Annie Story Book - Google Boeken". Books.google.com. Retrieved 2013-11-17.
- "Grimm's Fairy Stories by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm - Free Ebook". Gutenberg.org. 2004-02-01. Retrieved 2013-11-17.
- "Nobody's Boy by Hector Malot - Free Ebook". Gutenberg.org. 2008-04-19. Retrieved 2013-11-17.
- "All About the Little Small Red Hen by Anonymous - Free Ebook". Gutenberg.org. 2008-05-30. Retrieved 2013-11-17.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Johnny Gruelle.|
- Works by Johnny Gruelle at Project Gutenberg
- Raggedy History from publishers Simon & Schuster
- Johnny Gruelle, Inspired Illustrator by Patricia Hall
- Toonopedia entry on Mr Twee Deedle
- Johnny Gruelle at Find a Grave