John Furlow – RIP

Sports cartoonist John Furlow has passed away.

John Allen Furlow
July 23, 1921 – May 8, 2021


A month and a half shy of his 100th birthday artist, illustrator, and cartoonist John Furlow has died.

From the obituary:

Following his passion and extraordinary talent as an artist, John applied and was accepted to the Art Institute in Chicago, IL where he perfected his natural gift for painting. After graduation, John and Joan moved to Nashville, TN where he was self-employed as a freelance artist and where they began to raise a family. John’s talent then took him to Chicago, IL where he worked for the Chicago Sun-Times as a sports cartoonist. Several years later he accepted the position of Art Director for Duke University in Durham, N.C.


During his 20 year tenure at Duke, he took on the position of Director of Graphic Communications for Duke Hospital North. He was also hired to become the artist for Duke’s Athletic Department where his “claim to fame” took off. He designed and created the Duke Blue Devil we see today and the Iron Duke “D”. John also meticulously painted the first 189 portraits of the Duke Hall of Fame Inductees … and designed and painted all of the Duke football and basketball program covers for each home game. After his retirement from Duke, he was commissioned to paint numerous portraits of various notables both at Duke and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.


The TV Prevue cover above is all we found of his Chicago Sun-Times days.
And also above is a few of his Duke University efforts.


But his days as a freelance artist in Nashville included much more cartooning than is hinted at in the obit. From the mid-1950s to the early 1960s John provided occasional sports cartoons to The Nashville Banner. Below are some samples (The Banner sprung for color for many of the following cartoons).

John reviews the new (1958) Willard Mullin book for The Nashville Banner:


One thought on “John Furlow – RIP

  1. RIP. Exceptions of course but does it seem like most cartoonists live long lives?

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