Ed-Op Cartoonist Judy Dixon Retires at 94

Jefferson County Leader editorial cartoonist Judy Dixon
has retired from the paper to move closer to her family.

Today, the Leader says goodbye to editorial cartoonist Judy Dixon, who is leaving Jefferson County to live closer to extended family.

Since joining the Leader staff on Jan. 15, 1998, Dixon has won numerous state and national awards for her work, and in 2014 was named to the Missouri Press Association Hall of Fame.

Dixon, who is 94, was already in her 70s when she began her stint at the Leader, proving that creative energy can remain strong and vibrant in our sunset years.

Most of her time at the Leader, Dixon partnered with retired editor and publisher Patrick Martin to create incisive and humorous editorial commentary, week after week.

The Leader gave a full page for the farewell. Or read the tribute here with a gallery.

“I drew my first recognizable figure at age 2,” she said. “And my father, who also was an artist, was thrilled. He rushed out and got every available material to encourage me. There was never any question that I would work as an artist. I love it.”

Before becoming a pointy-penned satirist, Dixon was an illustrator for Concordia Publishing in St. Louis, her first job after graduating with a fine arts degree from Washington University in 1949.

Eventually, she worked in the advertising department at the News Democrat in the Twin Cities, where she and Martin met.


From the 2014 article about Judy’s entry to the Newspaper Hall of Fame:

Over time, Dixon settled into her current role as editorial cartoonist. In a single cartoon each week, she keeps a sharp eye on those who set public policy and spend tax dollars.

“She is a joy – and a weapon – any editor would love to have,” Martin said.

In her 65 years as a professional artist, Dixon has illustrated Bible stories, drawn greeting cards and designed advertisements. But working for newspapers, she said, has brought her great joy.

“In the advertising world, it was really dog-eat-dog,” she said. “At newspapers, everyone is a lot more laid-back. Time-wise, of course, you have to deal with deadlines. But newspaper people are great to work with.”

Judy from May 19, 2021: