Peter Arno

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Peter Arno
Born Curtis Arnoux Peters, Jr.
(1904-01-08)January 8, 1904
New York City, New York
Died February 22, 1968(1968-02-22) (aged 64)
Port Chester, New York
Residence New York City, New York
Nationality American
Education Yale University
Hotchkiss School
Occupation Cartoonist
Employer The New Yorker (1925-1968)
Known for Created 99 covers for The New Yorker
Spouse(s) Lois Long
Mary Livingston Lansing
Children Patricia Arno

Peter Arno (January 8, 1904 – February 22, 1968) was a U.S. cartoonist. He contributed cartoons and 99 covers to The New Yorker from 1925, the magazine's first year, until 1968,[1] the year of his death. Roger Angell recently described him as "the magazine's first genius".[2]


Arno was born Curtis Arnoux Peters, Jr. on January 8, 1904 in New York City. His father was Curtis Arnoux Peters, a New York State Supreme Court judge. He was educated at the Hotchkiss School and Yale University, where he contributed illustrations, covers and cartoons to The Yale Record, the campus humor magazine, as "Peters".[3] He also formed a jazz band called the Yale Collegians, in which he played piano, banjo, and accordion.[4]

After graduation he adopted the pen name Peter Arno and joined the staff of the fledgling magazine The New Yorker. The iconic cartoons and covers he created there, from 1925 through 1968, helped establish the magazine's reputation for sophisticated humor and fine illustration; they often depicting a cross-section of New York City society.[5][6] Others were inspired by situations he encountered during his travels. Arno drew his cartoons in batches, usually over a two-day period each week.[7] In a famous March 1, 1941 cartoon he coined the popular expression "back to the drawing board".[8][9]

Lois Long, a.k.a. "Lipstick", in the early 1920s

In 1927 he married Lois Long, a popular New Yorker columnist and fashion editor who wrote under the pseudonym "Lipstick". The very embodiment of the glamorous flapper, she also wrote reviews of New York speakeasies. Their one daughter, Patricia, was born September 18, 1928, and the couple divorced in 1930. Arno later married debutante Mary Livingston Lansing in August 1935; they divorced in July 1939.

After his second divorce Arno moved to a farm near Harrison, New York, where he lived in seclusion, enjoying music, guns, and sports cars.[10]

Arno died of emphysema on February 22, 1968 at the age of 64. He is buried at Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, New York.


  • Whoops Dearie!. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1927.
  • Parade. New York: H. Liveright,1929.
  • Hullabaloo. New York: H. Liveright, 1930.
  • Circus. New York: H. Liveright, 1931.
  • Favorites. New York: Blue Ribbon Books, 1932.
  • For Members Only. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1935.
  • Cartoon Revue. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1941.
  • Man in the Shower. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1944.
  • Sizzling Platter. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1949.
  • Ladies and Gentlemen. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1951.
  • Hell of a Way to Run a Railroad. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1956.
  • Lady in the Shower. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1967.
  • Peter Arno. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1979.


  1. ^ Remnick, David, ed. (2005) The Complete New Yorker: Eighty Years of the Nation's Greatest Magazine. New York: Random House.
  2. ^ Angell, R. "Snaps: 1925-1935". The New Yorker, February 23 & March 2, 2015 (90th Anniversary Issue), p. 20.
  3. ^ Arno, Peter (as "Peters") (January 17, 1923). Cover Illustration. The Yale Record. New Haven: Yale Record.
  4. ^ Arno, Peter Robert C. Harvey:; American National Biography Online February 2000
  5. ^ Topliss, Iain. The Comic Worlds of Peter Arno, William Steig, Charles Addams, and Saul Steinberg. Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005.
  6. ^ Mankoff, Robert, ed. (2004) The Complete Cartoons of the New Yorker. New York: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers.
  7. ^ Arno, Peter Robert C. Harvey:; American National Biography Online February. 2000
  8. ^ Arno, Peter (March 1, 1941). Cartoon. The New Yorker. New York: Conde Nast.
  9. ^ Mankoff, Robert, The Perfect Cartoon: Part Two, New Yorker, June 11, 2014
  10. ^ Arno, Peter Robert C. Harvey:; American National Biography Online February. 2000

A Comics Studies Reader. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2009

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