Clifford K. Berryman

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Clifford K. Berryman
Clifford Berryman.jpg
Born(1869-04-02)April 2, 1869
Clifton, Kentucky
DiedDecember 11, 1949(1949-12-11) (aged 80)
Washington, D.C.
Area(s)Editorial cartoonist
Notable works
"Remember the Maine"
"Drawing the Line in Mississippi"
AwardsPulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning, 1944
Spouse(s)Kate Geddes Durfee (m. 1893)

Clifford Kennedy Berryman (April 2, 1869 – December 11, 1949) was a Pulitzer Prize–winning cartoonist with The Washington Star newspaper from 1907 to 1949. He was previously a cartoonist for The Washington Post from 1891 to 1907.

During his career, Berryman drew thousands of cartoons commenting on American presidents and politics. Political figures he lampooned included former Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Harry S. Truman. He is particularly known for his cartoons "Remember the Maine" and "Drawing the Line in Mississippi."

Berryman was a prominent figure in Washington, D.C., and President Harry S. Truman once told him, "You are ageless and timeless. Presidents, senators and even Supreme Court justices come and go, but the Monument and Berryman stand."[1] Berryman's cartoons can be found at the Library of Congress, the National Archives, and George Washington University, as well as archives that house presidential collections.[2]


Early life and education[edit]

Berryman was born on April 2, 1869, in Clifton, Kentucky, to James Thomas Berryman and Sallie Church Berryman. Berryman's father often entertained friends and neighbors with drawings of "hillbillies" from their hometown; Clifford inherited his father's knack for drawing.

Editorial cartoons[edit]

Clifford Berryman's 1902 political cartoon in The Washington Post spawned the Teddy bear.

Berryman was appointed draftsman to the United States Patent Office in Washington, D.C. from 1886 to 1891. During his tenure, Berryman submitted sketches to The Washington Post, and in 1891, he became an understudy of the Post's political cartoonist George Y. Coffin. After Coffin died in 1896, Berryman took over the Post's cartoonist position.

As a political cartoonist, Berryman satirized both Democrats and Republicans, and covered topics such as drought, farm relief, and food prices; representation of the District of Columbia in Congress; labor strikes and legislation; campaigning and elections; political patronage; European coronations; the America's Cup; and the atomic bomb.

In 1898, during the Spanish–American War, The Post printed Berryman's classic illustration "Remember the Maine," which became the battle-cry for American sailors during the War. His November 16, 1902, cartoon, "Drawing the Line in Mississippi," depicted President Theodore Roosevelt showing compassion for a small bear cub. The cartoon inspired New York store owner Morris Michtom to create a new toy and call it the teddy bear.[3]

Berryman worked at the Post until 1907, at which time he was hired by the Washington Star. Berryman was the first cartoonist member of the Gridiron Club and served as the president in 1926.[4]

He drew political cartoons for the Star until his death in 1949.[4]

Personal life and death[edit]

Berryman married Kate Geddes Durfee on the 5th of July 1893,[5] and they had three children: Mary Belle (who died as an infant), Florence Seville (she later became an art critic), and James Thomas (who himself became a Pulitzer Prize–winning cartoonist).

Berryman was a Presbyterian and an active member of the Washington Heights Presbyterian Church.

He died December 11, 1949, from a heart ailment, and is buried in Glenwood Cemetery in Washington, D.C.[6]


"But Where Is the Boat Going?", for which Berryman received the 1944 Pulitzer Prize

In 1944, Berryman was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning for his drawing "Where is the Boat Going."[7] The cartoon depicted President Franklin D. Roosevelt and other government officials trying to steer the USS Mississippi in several different directions.

Clifford K. and James T. Berryman Award for Editorial Cartooning[edit]

Since 1989 the National Press Foundation has presented the Clifford K. and James T. Berryman Award for Editorial Cartooning annually.[8] Previous winners include Chip Bok (1993), Jim Morin (1996), Kevin Kallaugher (2002), Rex Babin (2003), Steve Sack (2006), Matt Wuerker (2010), Nick Anderson (2011), Adam Zyglis (2013), and Clay Bennett (2014).



  1. ^ The Washington Post
  2. ^ "George Washington University". Archived from the original on 2011-05-11. Retrieved 2010-12-08.
  3. ^ Theodore Roosevelt Association: Teddy Bear
  4. ^ a b Guide to the Clifford K. Berryman cartoon collection, 1899–1949 Collection number MS2024 Archived 2011-05-11 at the Wayback Machine, Special Collections Research Center, Estelle and Melvin Gelman Library, The George Washington University, accessed April 2011
  5. ^ Marriage Certificate for Clifford K. Berryman, cited on
  6. ^ "National Figures Among Hundreds at Berryman Rites". The Evening Star. December 13, 1949. p. 2.
  7. ^ Pulitzer
  8. ^ "CLIFFORD K. & JAMES T. BERRYMAN AWARD FOR EDITORIAL CARTOONS," National Press Foundation website. Accessed January 17, 2016.

External links[edit]