[PW] Dairy publications from 1939 (I need all the help I can get)

Donna Halper dlh at donnahalper.com
Tue Jul 2 13:42:42 PDT 2019

Sorry to be so uncoordinated, but I expected your answering machine 
rather than you personally. Nicer to get you-- I much prefer to talk to 
people live. First, speaking of live, have you been able to reach any of 
Mort's living relatives? His son Brian was instrumental in creating the 
Cartoon Museum in which his dad Mort was a founder.  Anyway, so here we 

Walker, Addison Morton. Born September 3, 1923, in El Dorado, KS; died 
January 27, 2018, in Stamford, CT; _son of Robin A. (an architect) and 
Carolyn (a designer and illustrator) Walker_; married Jean Suffill, 
March 12, 1949 (divorced); married Catherine Carty Prentice, 1985; 
children: (first marriage) Greg, Brian, Polly, Morgan, Marjorie, Neal, 
Roger, (stepdaughters): Whitney, Priscilla. *Education:* University of 
Missouri, B.A., 1948. *Military/Wartime Service:* U.S. Army, 1943-46; 
served in Europe; became first lieutenant.

The database Biography in Context, as I am sure you know, lists his job 
at Hallmark Greeting Cards (1942-43) as his first full-time gig.  But I 
wonder what some of the older reference books like Who's Who in America 
say about him.

His Washington Post obit, written in 2008 by Ali Bahrampour, says 

Addison Morton Walker was born Sept. 3, 1923, in El Dorado, Kansas, the 
third of four siblings. His father, Robin Walker, was an architect who 
moved the family from oil boom to oil boom, building houses, churches 
and schools.

But he never got rich, and after stints in Texas and Oklahoma, the 
family settled in Kansas City, Missouri. _Robin Walker wrote poetry, and 
his work appeared in the Kansas City Star with drawings by Walker's 
mother, Carolyn, a staff illustrator for the newspaper. _


_Walker said he knew he wanted to be a cartoonist at the age of 3. As a 
child, he accompanied his parents to the newspaper and became friendly 
with the staff cartoonists. By 12, he was regularly publishing his own 
cartoons in magazines such as Inside Detective and Flying Aces, and at 
15, he had a comic strip in the Kansas City Star. _

At 18, Walker told an interviewer at Hall Brothers (later Hallmark 
Cards) that he thought their cards were lousy. He was hired and became 
chief editorial designer. He was instrumental in changing the company's 
cards from cuddly bears to gag cartoons more suitable for soldiers 
serving overseas.

In 1942, Walker was drafted. "Little did I know," he wrote decades later 
in the pictorial memoir "Mort Walker's Private Scrapbook," "that I was 
going to get almost four years of free research."

Donna L. Halper, PhD
Associate Professor of Communication & Media Studies
Lesley University, Cambridge MA

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