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Tue, 01.02.1906

Elmer S. Campbell, Cartoonist born

Elmer S.Campbell

Elmer Campbell was born on this date in 1906.  He was Black cartoonist.

Elmer Simms Campbell was born in St. Louis, and while still attending high school, he won a nationwide contest in cartooning.  He later studied at the University of Chicago and the Art Institute of Chicago. He then worked as a Red Cap railroad dining-car waiter, amusing himself by drawing caricatures of the passenger.  One of them was so impressed with his work, he gave him a job in a commercial-art studio in St. Louis.

Campbell later moved to New York City, where he worked for an advertising agency while gradually infusing himself as a regular contributor to various humor magazines.

In 1933, Esquire (the magazine) was established, and Campbell became its foremost cartoonist, with as many as a dozen drawings in an issue. His work was also published in Cosmopolitan, The New Yorker, and Playboy.  He is best known for his representations of voluptuous women, frequently in a harem setting.

The first Black to publish his work in general-circulation magazines, Elmer Campbell died Jan. 27, 1971 in White Plains, New York.

The Encyclopedia of African American Heritage
by Susan Altman
Copyright 1997, Facts on File, Inc. New York
ISBN 0-8160-3289-0

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