Duncan Ian Macpherson

Duncan Ian Macpherson, political cartoonist (b at Toronto 20 Sept 1924; d at Toronto 5 May 1993). Regarded as having been one of Canada's best political cartoonists, Macpherson received the Order of Canada, the Royal Academy Medal, The Canada Council's Molson Prize and six National Newspaper awards for his work at the Toronto Star. Macpherson dropped out of school to join the Royal Canadian Air Force when he was 17. He served in England during World War II, and during his spare time took art courses in London. After the war he studied at the Boston Museum of Fine Art and at the Ontario College of Art. He worked as an illustrator at the Montreal Standard and Maclean's before he joined the Toronto Star.

A brilliant draughtsman, Macpherson championed a distinctive style. His caricatures were unique in English Canada: wicked, mischievous, and sometimes cruel. One colleague, Gary Lautens, described his work as a combination of "Mary Poppins, Mark Twain and Attila the Hun." Macpherson described himself as a heckler. His acid portraits of Prime Minister John Diefenbaker made him famous. He was the first cartoonist to hire an agent to negotiate a salary with his editors, and was instrumental in winning editorial autonomy for his profession. He succeeded in having cartoonists recognized as independent contributors to the editorial page, not merely as illustrators. Macpherson's Canada, a collection of watercolours, pastels and drawings, was published in 1969, and his cartoons have appeared in a dozen anthologies. He was elected to the News Hall of Fame in 1976.

See also Cartoons, Political