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Dick Locher announces retirement

A recent cartoon by Dick Locher

Chicago Tribune editorial cartoonist Scott Stantis announces that fellow cartoonist Dick Locher is retiring after 40 years with the Tribune.

Dick’s career as an editorial cartoonist began inexplicably in 1973 when he was offered the staff cartoonist position at the Chicago Tribune even though he had no experience in the job. (He had assisted on the comic strip Dick Tracy for many years with legendary cartoonist Chester Gould, who recommended him for the Tribune job.) Over the years Dick had more than 10,000 cartoons published (“That’s a whole lot of getting mad six times a week,” he said); won a bunch of awards, including a Pulitzer in 1983; had a private lunch in the Oval Office with President Ronald Reagan; received two death threats; took over drawing and writing the Dick Tracy strip (he retired from that job in 2011); created the coveted John Locher Award for college cartoonists to honor the memory of his deceased son; and designed the Land of Lincoln Trophy, awarded to the winner of the Illinois-Northwestern college football game.

Dick has had an amazing career.

Community Comments

#1 Marshall Ramsey
May/20/2013
@ 10:19 am

Dick and Mary Locher are class acts. Since winning the Locher award 20-years-ago, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know them and on most occasions, wished they would adopt me. I wish Dick the best. And I’m thankful he has been a part of my life and career.

#2 Stephen Beals
May/20/2013
@ 11:06 am

Wow, he’s had a long run and a great career. I’ve always been an involuntary fan of his artwork. I write “involuntary” because there’s something about it that makes me stop and stare, regardless of what else is on the page. Wonderful work.

#3 Mike Garman
May/20/2013
@ 11:58 am

Thanks Mr. Locher

#4 Paul Fell
May/20/2013
@ 11:58 am

Dick is one of the all-time nice guys in the editorial cartooning profession. He can out-draw almost anyone in the business.

#5 Frank Hansen
May/20/2013
@ 12:06 pm

That is one impressive career. A well deserved retirement.

#6 Matthew Hansel
May/21/2013
@ 7:28 am

I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with Dick over the past year or so on a book project. He is a wealth of creativity and kindness.
He is a class act and a real gentleman.
He might be retired from editorial cartooning and Dick Tracy, but he’ll continue to work on projects, including a new bronze sculpt of Joe Naper, the founder of Naperville.
Bravo to a long run of quality, thoughtful work, Dick. Can’t wait to see what comes next.
Cheerio-
MPH

#7 Steve Greenberg
May/21/2013
@ 9:04 am

Dick was the first person to reach out to me when I was wandering around, not knowing anyone, at my first AAEC convention. Over the years we’ve become friends, as have our wives, but I was always a bit in awe of his drawing abilities. And yes, he’s one of the nicest guys in the business.

#8 Bob Gorrell
May/21/2013
@ 6:49 pm

Dick is a fantastic editorial cartoonist but an even better man.
Congratulations on a wonderful career and on influencing
uncounted cartoonists who followed in your path.

#9 Milt Priggee
May/22/2013
@ 10:02 am

Dick Locher influenced me and many via Dick Tracy and his editorial cartoons. I don’t think too many people know that between his first stint with Tracy and his editorial cartoons Dick was a top flight illustrator. Fifty years ago, his fantastic model airplane box top art (for Monogram and Revell) enticed me to spend way too much of my newspaper route money.
And as Marshall said, Dick and Mary are pure class…they just don’t come any better.

#10 Steve Artley
May/22/2013
@ 8:32 pm

Dick is one of the top cartoonists in the field, and has always been a good friend. He was my sponsor for membership in the AAEC back in 1984, and has been (along with Mary) at the top of my list of favorite people for the last three decades. Well before that, he was a source of inspiration. Like Milt said, he and Mary are indeed pure class.

#11 T. Brian Kelly
May/22/2013
@ 8:46 pm

Congratulations to Dick from the Chicago chapter of the NCS on your retirement from cartooning. You have been an inspiration for decades to countless cartoonists polishing their work in the darkness of the wee hours of the night. I was one of them. Dick gave me and Mark Hill (my cartooning colleague from the Daily Illini at the University of Illinois) his lunch hour on a day in the fall of 1983, talking cartoons and reviewing our sorry samples in the shadows of the gargoyles high up in the Tribune Tower in downtown Chicago. I’ll never forget it and will be eternally grateful for his valuable time, his sage advice, and his inventive wit. Great stories! Thank you for everything you have so confidently and generously given over so many years to your many readers and to this proud profession.

#12 Mike Keefe
June/1/2013
@ 6:13 pm

A class act as a cartoonist and a gentleman.

#13 Tom Kilpary
July/6/2013
@ 5:03 am

Is this his last editorial cartoon? If not, when was it?

#14 Mark Hill
August/13/2013
@ 11:24 am

Just ran across this…(And had certainly read about Dick Locher’s retirement back in May.) T.Brian: Yes, that meeting with Dick at Tribune tower is still a cherished memory. What a fantastic cartoonist, as well as a genuinely warm and friendly man. His cartoons will be missed but not forgotten.

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