Eldon Dedini

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Eldon Dedini (June 29, 1921 – January 12, 2006) was an American cartoonist whose work appeared in Esquire, The New Yorker, Playboy and elsewhere.


Eldon Dedini was born on June 29, 1921 in King City, California. His father was an Italian dairy farmer and bookkeeper, his mother a schoolteacher. His love of cartoons dates from his early boyhood, as he pored over "comic books" his mother made for him from the Sunday paper's comic section. He was around 13 when he started subscribing to Esquire, and five years later, he sold his first cartoon to them.[1]

He graduated from Salinas Junior College (now Hartnell College), where he took art classes. Acting on the advice of his art teacher, the noted watercolorist Leon Amyx, Dedini compensated for the cartooning gap in the art curriculum through practical experience, contributing cartoons gratis to the local newspaper, the Salinas Index Journal. He continued his art education in Los Angeles at the Chouinard Institute of Art, where many of the Disney Studio's animators trained and where he met another artist, Virginia Conroy, whom he married on 15 July 1944, just after they both graduated. They adopted a son, Giulio, in 1960. He worked for Universal Studios and for Disney before becoming a regular contributor to Esquire.[1]

Dedini died of cancer in Carmel, California in January 2006, at age 84.


Broccoli & Babes: The Cartoons and Posters of Eldon Dedini: November 4, 2005--January 20, 2006 at the Sasoontsi Gallery, Salinas, Calif.** Monterey Museum of Art "Arriola, Dedini, Ketchum" 1982


He received the National Cartoonists Society's Gag Cartoon Award in 1958, 1961, 1964 and 1988.


  • Illustrations for Bantam Books editions of Max Shulman works:
    • Rally Round the Flag, Boys!, (1958) (1959)
    • Barefoot Boy with Cheek (1959)
    • Sleep Till Noon (1959)
    • I Was a Teen-Age Dwarf (1960)
    • The Feather Merchants
    • Anyone Got a Match (1965)
  • The Dedini Gallery. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York (1961)
  • A Much, Much Better World. Microsoft Press, Bellevue WA (1985)
  • Fantagraphics Books published a posthumous collection of his work, An Orgy of Playboy's Dedini, ISBN 1-56097-727-2 in 2006. Introduction by political cartoonist Dennis Renault. The book is bundled with a documentary "Dedini: A Life of Cartoons" by Anson Musselman.


  1. ^ a b "Eldon Dedini: Our Cover Artist", 40/Crosby (program book for the 40th Annual Bing Crosby National Pro-Amateur Golf Tournament), 1981


  • American National Biography Online
  • New York Times report of death Retrieved January 14, 2006
  • Monterey Herald obituary Retrieved January 14, 2006 (reprinted at emdashes.com
  • "Broccoli and Babes," an article by Ben Bamsey in Artworks (winter 2005): 58-63
  • Dedini's papers and original art are archived at the Cartoon Research Library at Ohio State University, which also has on file a videotape of his presentation at the 2001 Festival of Cartoon Art, sponsored by the Cartoon Research Library, during which Dedini showed slides of his cartoons and commented on them, offering a description of his working methods and attitudes.

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