Johnny Gruelle

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Johnny Gruelle
Born John Barton Gruelle
(1880-12-24)December 24, 1880
Arcola, Illinois, United States
Died January 9, 1938(1938-01-09) (aged 57)
Miami Springs, Florida, United States
Occupation Artist.Writer
Nationality American
Genre Children's literature
Notable works Raggedy Ann

Johnny Gruelle (December 24, 1880 – January 9, 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.


Raggedy Ann and Andy

John Barton Gruelle was born in Arcola, Illinois, on December 24, 1880,[1] and at age 2 moved with his family to Indianapolis, Indiana,[2] where his painter father, Richard Gruelle, became associated with the Hoosier Group of painters. Richard Gruelle’s friends included poet James Whitcomb Riley, whose poems “The Elf-Child”, later titled “Little Orphant Annie” (1885) and "The Raggedy Man" (1888), would form the basis for Johnny Gruelle's naming of Raggedy Ann.[2]

John Gruelle's cartoons first appeared in print in the Indianapolis Star in 1905.[3] From 1906 to 1911 his cartooning work appeared in many newspapers, usually signed as Grue, including The Toledo News-Bee,[4] The Pittsburgh Press,[5] The Tacoma Times,[6] and The Spokane Press.[7]

After he beat out 1,500 entrants to win a cartooning contest sponsored in 1911 by The New York Herald, Gruelle created Mr. Twee Deedle, which was in print from that year to at least 1914.[8]

Gruelle gave his daughter Marcella a dusty, faceless rag doll found in the attic. He drew a whimsical face on the doll and named her Raggedy Ann, and in 1915 patented and trademarked the design and name[9] The U.S. Patent D47,789 was dated September 7, 1915. Gruelle began approaching publishers, and 1918, the P.F. Volland Company published Raggedy Ann Stories, promoting it with a Raggedy Ann doll.[9] Both became major successes.[10] In 1920, Gruelle introduced Raggedy Ann's brother, the mischievous and adventuresome Raggedy Andy, in the book Raggedy Andy Stories.[11] Gruelle was awarded a patent for a stuffed animal in 1921 U.S. Patent D59,553.

Gruelle's "Raggedy Ann's Sunny Songs" was set to music by William H. Woodin. One of Gruelle's characters is Little Wooden Willie, a reference to Will Woodin.[12]

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.[citation needed] Gruelle spent a year in Ashland, Oregon, from 1923 to 1924.[13] He died at home in Miami Springs, Florida, on January 9, 1938, of a heart attack.[14]


Rapunzel, from an edition of Grimm's Fairy Tales, illustrated by Johnny Gruelle

As author and illustrator[edit]

  • All About Cinderella (1916), republished as Cinderella (2012)
  • My Very Own Fairy Stories[15] (1917), republished as Raggedy Ann's Fairy Stories
  • Raggedy Ann Stories[16] (1918)
  • Friendly Fairies[17] (1919)
  • Little Sunny Stories (1919)
  • Raggedy Andy Stories[18] (1920)
  • Orphant Annie[19] (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

As illustrator[edit]

The titular character Sally Migrundy from the anthology Friendly Fairies (1919)
  • Grimm's Fairy Tales[20] (1914)
  • Nobody's Boy [21] (1916)
  • All About Hansel and Grethel (1917), republished as Hansel and Gretel (2012)
  • All About the Little Small Red Hen [22] (1917)
  • Sunny Bunny by Nina Wilcox Putnam (1918)
  • The Bam Bam Clock by J.P. McEvoy (1920)
  • Quacky Doodles' and Danny Daddles' Book (1916)[23]
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  1. ^ Hall, Patricia (1993). Johnny Gruelle, Creator of Raggedy Ann and Andy. Pelican Publishing. pp. 25–26. ISBN 978-0882899084. 
  2. ^ a b Ksander, Yaël (April 11, 2011). "Raggedy Ann’s Hoosier Pedigree". Indiana Public Media / The Trustees of Indiana University. Archived from the original on April 24, 2011. Retrieved October 29, 2015. 
  3. ^ Hall, p. 40
  4. ^ "All Aboard the Water Wagon". The Toledo News-Bee. January 1, 1907. p. 1. 
  5. ^ "The World, the Flesh, and the Baby". Pittsburg Press. November 29, 1909. p. 10. 
  6. ^ "The Day of All Fools". The Tacoma Times. April 1, 1909. p. 1. 
  7. ^ "A Few More Weeks And Then". The Spokane Press. March 6, 1910. p. 16. 
  8. ^ Mr. Twee Deedle at Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on September 30, 2015.
  9. ^ a b Hall, Patricia (1999). "Johnny Gruelle Inspired Illustrator". Archived from the original on September 10, 2015. Retrieved October 29, 2015. 
  10. ^ "New Raggedy Ann Causing a Stir : It's an Open-and-Shut Case for the Creators' Family - Los Angeles Times". 1987-11-26. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  11. ^ "Raggedy History". Simon & Schuster. Archived from the original on August 17, 2004. 
  12. ^ Wayne Homren (2007-12-16). "William H. Woodin'S Political Journey And Musical Talent". Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  13. ^ "Raggedy Ann in Ashland by Dawna Curler". As It Was Master Script List, Southern Oregon Historical Society. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved November 5, 2008. 
  14. ^ "John Gruelle Dead; Cartoonist, Writer; Creator of Comic Strip 'Brutus' Was on The Herald Tribune - Wrote Children's Books". The New York Times. Associated Press. January 10, 1938. Retrieved October 30, 2015.  Abstract; full article requires subscription.
  15. ^ My Very Own Fairy Stories at Internet Archive
  16. ^ "Raggedy Ann Stories by Johnny Gruelle - Free Ebook". 2006-04-17. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  17. ^ "Friendly Fairies by Johnny Gruelle - Free Ebook". 2004-02-01. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  18. ^ "Raggedy Andy Stories by Johnny Gruelle - Free Ebook". 2005-12-22. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  19. ^ Orphant Annie Story Book - Google Boeken. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  20. ^ "Grimm's Fairy Stories by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm - Free Ebook". 2004-02-01. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  21. ^ "Nobody's Boy by Hector Malot - Free Ebook". 2008-04-19. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  22. ^ "All About the Little Small Red Hen by Anonymous - Free Ebook". 2008-05-30. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  23. ^ Quacky Doodles and Danny Daddles at Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on September 30, 2015.

External links[edit]