Cartoonist Irvin Dugan (February 8, 1892-March 17, 1982) was born in Huntington. He worked as a Huntington newspaper artist from 1927 until his retirement in 1957. For many years, his ‘‘Adam’’ cartoon character was a feature on the editorial pages of the Herald-Dispatch and the Sunday Herald-Advertiser.
Adam, a little old man with a handlebar mustache and a corncob pipe, was created during World War II to promote the sale of war bonds. In his first appearance, he was shown with a dinner pail under his arm and a newly purchased war bond in his hand. The caption read, ‘‘Here’s mine. Where’s yours?’’ The U.S. Treasury Department distributed the cartoon nationwide, and it was widely reprinted. After the war, Adam crusaded for various civic improvements and causes. Dugan said he named his creation Adam because, like the character of that name in Shakespeare’s ‘‘As You Like It,’’ he was ‘‘short of stature and long on wisdom.’’
Many well-known individuals, including coal mine labor leader John L. Lewis and Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman, wrote Dugan asking for originals of his cartoons. In 1974, Dugan donated a collection of such letters and 500 Adam originals to Marshall University. After retirement, Dugan moved to Phoenix, Arizona, where he died.
Written by James E. Casto