William Allen Rogers

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World War I United States Navy recruitment poster using one of Rogers's cartoons for the New York Herald.

William Allen Rogers was an American political cartoonist born in Springfield, Ohio in 1854.[1] He studied at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Wittenberg College, but never graduated. Rogers taught himself to draw[2] and began submitting political cartoons to Midwestern newspapers in his teens.[1] At the age of fourteen, his first cartoons appeared in a Dayton, Ohio-based newspaper, to which Rogers' mother had earlier submitted a selection of his sketches.[2]

The start of Rogers' career as an illustrator came in 1873 when he was hired by the Daily Graphic in New York.[2][3] He was nineteen years old at the time.[2] Rogers' job at the Daily Graphic was to help out with the news sketches and at times draw cartoons.[2]

In 1877, he was hired by Harper's Weekly to draw the magazine's political cartoons after the departure of Thomas Nast.[2][4] The cartoons were dramatic adjuncts that illustrated the magazine's editorials.[5] Walt Reed, author of The Illustrator in America: 1860-2000, writes that while Rogers cartoons "never quite approached Nast's in power, his ideas were strongly presented and his drawings somewhat more skillful."[4] Rogers remained at Harper's Weekly for twenty-five years.[2]

After leaving Harper's Weekly, Rogers was hired by the New York Herald, where he drew cartoons daily for a total of twenty years. He occasionally worked for Life too, and submitted cartoons and illustrations for Puck, The Century Magazine, and St. Nicholas Magazine.[2]

Rogers retired as a cartoonist in 1926 while working for the Washington Post.[2] He died in Washington, D.C. in 1931.[1]



  1. ^ a b c A Century of American Illustration. Brooklyn Museum. 1972. p. 150. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "William Allen Rogers (1854-1931)". Smithsonian Institution Libraries. Retrieved 1 January 2010. 
  3. ^ Writers' Program Ohio (1941). Springfield and Clark County, Ohio. Springfield Tribune Printing Company. 
  4. ^ a b Reed, Walt (2001). The Illustrator in America: 1860-2000. The Society of Illustrators. p. 64. ISBN 0-8230-2523-3. 
  5. ^ Welsh, Caroline Mastin (1998). Adirondack Prints and Printmakers: The Call of the Wild. Syracuse University Press. pp. 62–64. ISBN 0-8156-0519-6. 

External links[edit]

The Smithsonian Institution