Ray Evans (cartoonist)



Raymond Oscar Evans (December 1, 1887 – January 18, 1954) was a widely circulated American editorial cartoonist who was active from 1910 to 1954. He is best known for his cartoons entitled ''The Americanese Wall – As Congressman Burnett would build it'' and ''It’s Going To Be Just Turned Around'', both dealing with immigration.

Early and personal life

Evans was born in
Columbus, Ohio Columbus () is the List of US state capitals, state capital and the List of cities in Ohio, most populous city in the U.S. state of Ohio. With a 2020 United States census, 2020 census population of 905,748, it is the List of United States cities ...
, to Oscar R. (Ben) and Mary F. Evans and was the oldest of four children. His father was a ticket agent for a railroad company, and Ray attended public schools in Columbus. He attended
Ohio State University The Ohio State University, commonly called Ohio State or OSU, is a public land-grant research university in Columbus, Ohio. A member of the University System of Ohio, it has been ranked by major institutional rankings among the best pub ...
, where he was a member of
Sigma Pi Sigma Pi () is a collegiate fraternity with 233 chapters at American universities. As of 2021, the fraternity had more than 5,000 undergraduate members and over 110,000 alumni. Sigma Pi headquarters are in Nashville, Tennessee. The fraternit ...
fraternity. He and W. M. Kiplinger recruited Dudley Fisher to join the fraternity. He was also the illustrator for the 1909 edition of the MakiO yearbook. After graduating in 1910, he became an advertising artist for ''
The Columbus Dispatch ''The Columbus Dispatch'' is a daily newspaper based in Columbus, Ohio. Its first issue was published on July 1, 1871, and it has been the only mainstream daily newspaper in the city since '' The Columbus Citizen-Journal'' ceased publication in 1 ...
''. In 1911 he was able to get Fisher an interview with editor Arthur Johnson Sr to begin his career. He then worked for part of 1912 with '' The Dayton Daily News''. Evans married Helen Holter on October 11, 1911. They had two children before 1920, Ray Jr. and Dorothy. Their third child, a daughter named Patricia, was born in the 1920s. He was a member of the
Methodist Methodism, also called the Methodist movement, is a group of historically related denominations of Protestant Christianity whose origins, doctrine and practice derive from the life and teachings of John Wesley. George Whitefield and John's br ...



Evans moved to Baltimore, where he became a political cartoonist for '' The Baltimore American'' around 1913 and stayed there through 1922. From 1920 to 1922 he was also a staff artist for the '' Baltimore News''. During his time in
Baltimore Baltimore ( , locally: or ) is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Maryland, fourth most populous city in the Mid-Atlantic, and the 30th most populous city in the United States with a population of 585,708 in 2020. Baltimore wa ...
, he began to make a name for himself, and his works were published in magazines such as ''
The Literary Digest ''The Literary Digest'' was an influential American general interest weekly magazine published by Funk & Wagnalls. Founded by Isaac Kaufmann Funk in 1890, it eventually merged with two similar weekly magazines, ''Public Opinion'' and '' Current ...
'', ''Judge'', ''The Outlook'', ''Life'', and ''Puck''. He taught cartooning at the Maryland Institute College of Art. He was a member of the Charcoal Club of Baltimore, the School Art League, and the National Press Club of Washington. He also developed his ability to write cleverly in connection with his news and sketches. His book ''Club Men of Maryland in Caricature'' was published in 1915.


In 1922 Evans moved back to Columbus and began working at ''The Dispatch'' again as an artist. While at ''The Dispatch'' he was again working with Dudley Fisher and Billy Ireland, and later Milton Caniff. Ireland was well known by that time and ran several strips, one of which was an occasional sketch called ''Flowers for the Living'', which praised a local person for his or her kindness and generosity. While Ireland was on his vacation in 1923, Evans filled in for him and sketched his own ''Flowers for the Living'' that recognized Ireland. In 1927 Ireland did a series of cartoons on fraternities at Ohio State, with Evans and Fisher appearing in the one on Sigma Pi which ran in June of that year. In 1933 Columbus was recognized for its amount of cartoonists by Osman C. Hooper in his book on Ohio journalism. Evans, Fisher, and Ireland were all mentioned by name. Like most political cartoonists of the 1930s, Evans commented on the
New Deal The New Deal was a series of programs, public work projects, financial reforms, and regulations enacted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the United States between 1933 and 1939. Major federal programs agencies included the Civilian Cons ...
and President Franklin D. Roosevelt. During
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the World War II by country, vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great power ...
Evans continued working at ''The Dispatch'' but also produced propaganda material for the U.S. government and the
Red Cross The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is a humanitarian movement with approximately 97 million volunteers, members and staff worldwide. It was founded to protect human life and health, to ensure respect for all human beings, an ...
. By the late 1940s Evans had become the chief cartoonist for ''The Dispatch'' and had hired his son, Ray Evans Jr, to work with him. Evans died on January 18, 1954, at his home in Columbus.

Since death

Some of Evans's work was displayed at the ''Ohio Cartoonists: A Bicentennial Celebration'' exhibition during the summer and early fall of 2003 at Ohio State University. One of his cartoons was also mentioned in Marc Leepson’s 2007 book ''Flag: An American Biography''.


{{DEFAULTSORT:Evans, Ray 1887 births 1954 deaths American editorial cartoonists Artists from Columbus, Ohio Methodists from Ohio