John T. McCutcheon: A Cartoonist in his Prime, 1930s
Following the success of the 1930s, John Tinney McCutcheon continued his job as a cartoonist for the Chicago Tribune until his retirement in 1946. After his retirement, McCutcheon spent time working on his autobiography Drawn From Memory, where he reflected upon his life as a family man, American, and successful artist. However, John T. McCutcheon died on June 10, 1949, and his lovely wife Evelyn Shaw helped finish his autobiography and publish the work the same year of his death. This work acts as a piece of John T. McCutcheon's everyday life and page from his diary. His ability to be open and honest about his career and life along the way proved him to be an American man. He attempted to relate to the average American despite his years of wealth and success. In being raw and explaining the details of his childhood and educational path to success, it is easy to understand why he was widely liked and the great cartoonist he was.
To look at the entirety of McCutcheon's career and label one decade his prime is a difficult task. However, after considering the way in which the 30s differed from the rest of his career, I was able to conclude this decade to be representative of his success. In 1931, McCutcheon was awarded an honorary doctoral degree from Purdue University, his alma mater. Additionally, McCutcheon was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his 1931 cartoon "A Wise Economist Asks a Question." During the 1930s not only was McCutcheon widely respected by the public, but he was successful at reflecting on his life. The dean of cartoonists was sure to explain himself immensely in Drawn from Memory and give insight into the ways in which he would have approached topics if he were given a second chance. In the 1930s McCutcheon was awarded for his success, still pursuing his career, and reflecting on the past, and for these reasons, the 1930s were his prime.