Al Schweitzer – RIP

Cartoonist and illustrator Albert L. Schweitzer, Jr. has passed away.

photo via Bethesda Health

Albert L. (Al) Schweitzer, Jr.

November 28, 1921 – January 30, 2023

Al Schweitzer spent decades as a St. Louis newspaper artist and cartoonist most with The Post-Dispatch.

From the obituary:

Mr. Schweitzer served in WWII in the USMC on the battleship South Dakota as an anti-aircraft gunner. He was Chief Illustrating Artist and the ‘’Weatherbird’’ artist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for 36 years. In 1961 he received the Catholic Press Association Journalism award for Best Editorial Cartoon. His Post-Dispatch cartoons and art are in the collection at the St. Louis Mercantile Library.

Dan Martin of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch noted Al’s passing:

Albert Schweitzer Jr., a longtime artist for the Post-Dispatch, died at St. Luke’s Hospital on Monday, Jan. 30. He was 101.

Generations of St. Louisans were familiar with his illustrations and cartoons in the newspaper from 1955 to 1986, when he retired as chief artist. In 1981, he became only the fifth cartoonist to draw the front-page Weatherbird, the oldest continually drawn daily cartoon feature in the country.

He took night classes and did advertising agency work before joining the advertising art staff at the old St. Louis Star-Times in 1949. He moved to the Post-Dispatch advertising staff in 1950, where he stayed before being promoted to the newspaper’s news-art department in 1955.

Al also produced cartoons during his WWII service. From a Bethesda Heath profile:

In the early 1940s, the young enlistee turned the shouting, drilling, and marching of Marine boot camp into a humorous illustrated booklet sold in the Post Exchange for 25 cents. It sold upwards of 10,000 copies in the first week.

Upon returning home, he captured the history of St. Louis in a folded poster and drew his way into another hot-selling piece. His artistry brought life to the city’s chronologic history. He founded Rivercity Publishing Co., which printed and sold more than 60,000 copies.