Draper Hill, the long-time Detroit News cartoonist, and eminent cartoon historian, passed away earlier this week. In addition to his decades of work as a staff cartoonist, he published biographies of Thomas Nast and James Gillray, and was long considered the “institutional memory” of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists (AAEC).
A past president of the AAEC, Mr. Hill wrote its magazine’s history column and won Germany’s Thomas Nast Prize in 1990, said member V. Cullum Rogers. “He was a repository of history. Among working cartoonists in the U.S., he probably knew more about the field than any other.”
In 1983, he earned a Guggenheim Fellowship to work on a biography of political cartoonist Thomas Nast.
Hill was on the staff of the Harvard Lampoon in the 1950s. He began his newspaper career as a cartoonist at the Patriot Ledger and Worcester Telegram in Massachusetts and worked at the Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Tenn before joining The Detroit News in 1976.