Gruelle, Johnny, 1880-1938

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Johnny Gruelle, American artitst, political cartoonist, children's book author and illustrator, and creator of the Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy books and dolls.

Born in 1880 in Arcola, Illinois, John Barton Gruelle began his career as an illustrator for an Indianapolis tabloid. In 1911 he went to work for The New York Herald after winning a national comic drawing contest. Gruelle gained notice as a popular children's illustrator with his Sunday "Mr. Twee Deedle" comic. In 1915, inspired by his daughter Marcella, Gruelle applied for a patent for the first Raggedy Ann doll and began writing stories, with their simple messages of kindness and moral character, that generations of children would come to embrace.

Following Gruelle's death in 1938, the work of maintaining the artistic vision of the Raggedy Ann and Andy franchise fell to his wife Myrtle and his sons Richard and Worth. In 1999 Joni Gruelle Wannamaker founded the Johnny Gruelle Raggedy Ann and Andy Museum in Arcola, Illinois, which is dedicated to preserving both the legacy of Johnny Gruelle and the values for which he stood.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Ohio State University. Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum. Johnny Gruelle 1880-1938 biographical file. Ohio State University Libraries
referencedIn Sue Brandt McBee Collection of African American Culture AR. 2001. 020., 1980-2003., 1950-2003. Austin History Center , Austin Public Library, 810 Guadalupe Street, Austin, Texas, 78701.
referencedIn Photograph of Raggedy Ann Doll Manufactured by the P. F. Volland Company National Archives at Philadelphia
creatorOf Raggedy Ann Illustration with Proverb National Archives at Philadelphia
referencedIn Rosamond B. Loring collection of printed endpapers, 1900-1950 (inclusive), 1920-1941 (bulk). Houghton Library
creatorOf Gruelle, Johnny, 1880-1938. Gruelle Family collection, ca. 1880s-2008. The Strong, Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play
contributorOf Excerpts from Raggedy Ann's Sunny Songs Advertisement Pamphlet National Archives at Philadelphia
referencedIn San Francisco Academy of Comic Art collection : Newspaper Comic Strips, 1893-1996 The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum
creatorOf Gruelle, Johnny, 1880-1938. Johnny Gruelle letter to [Byron Johnson] Rees [manuscript], 1919 December 12. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Gruelle, Johnny, 1880-1938. Johnny Gruelle : artist file. Indianapolis Museum of Art Library
referencedIn Russel B. Nye Popular Culture Collection. Raggedy Ann in comics and cartoons : file of clippings and examples. Michigan State University Libraries, Main Library
referencedIn Betsy Beinecke Shirley collection of American children's literature, 1640-2001 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Place Name Admin Code Country
Jazz audiences
Raggedy Andy (Fictitious character)
Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls
Raggedy Ann (Fictitious character)
Vertical files (Libraries)


Birth 1880-12-24

Death 1938-01-09





Ark ID: w6vt399r

SNAC ID: 33158831