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 Karl Samuel Hubenthal  (1917 - 1998)

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Lived/Active: California/Nebraska      Known for: cartoonist-editorial, landscape

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A member of the National Cartoonist Society and founding member of the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists, Karl Hubenthal was the long-time cartoonist for the Los Angeles Examiner.  He died of inoperable brain tumor cancer on August 13, 1999 at the age of eighty one.

Hubenthal was born in Beemer, Nebraska, on May 1,1917, and was raised in California, graduating from Hollywood High School, where he met Elsie, his wife of 58 years.

He then attended Chouinard Art School in Los Angeles.  Early in his career, he worked with George Herriman, Will Gould and Willard Mullen, each influenced his development as a cartoonist.

He began his newspaper career in 1935, at the age of 17, in the art department of the Los Angeles Evening Herald-Express.  He started drawing a weekly sports cartoon in 1938, and two years later was named Top Sports Cartoonist of the Year at the New York World's Fair.

He served in the Marine Corps in World War II and worked after his discharge as a commercial illustrator in New York and Los Angeles.  In 1949, he became one of the last people personally hired by William Randolph Hearst, when the legendary publisher persuaded him to return to the newspaper business as sports cartoonist for the Los Angeles Examiner.

He became chief editorial cartoonist for the Examiner in 1955, and the Hearst chain distributed his political cartoons nationally for the next 33 years.  His cartoons were one of only six Examiner features to be retained when the paper merged with the Herald-Express in 1962 and became the Herald-Examiner.

Hubenthal continued at the Herald-Examiner until 1982, sharing cartooning duties during the last few years with Bill Schorr.  Most of his cartoons used grease-crayon and excellent brushwork; near the end of his newspaper life he switched to Grafix paper.

"Hubenthal's cartoons display amazing command of composition, anatomy, and his media," Richard Marshall wrote in 1980 in The World Encyclopedia of Cartoons. "His work is handsome and easy to look at; Hubenthal can make a hard-hitting point of elicit a chuckle with equal ease."

Following retirement, Karl and Elsie Hubenthal moved from their house in Encino to Laguna Hills in Orange County, where he took up painting landscapes and portraits and the occasional sports drawing, including a program for the Los Angeles Dodgers a few years ago.  Shows of his paintings were mounted by galleries in Laguna Beach, California, and in Arizona.

His paintings and drawings are in the private collections of eight former U.S. Presidents, as well as numerous personalities in national politics and sports.

During his 47-year newspaper career, he received numerous awards, winning seven National Cartoonist Society awards, 25 Freedoms Foundation medals, the National Headliners Award and the Helms Foundation medallion.

In addition to his work for the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists, Hubenthal served as president of the Society of Illustrators and as regional director of the National Cartoonists Society.

His papers and the bulk of his drawings are being maintained in permanent archive collections at the University of Wisconsin, Ohio State University and the International Museum of Cartoon Art in Boca Raton, Florida.

Hawaii Fine Art

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Beemer, NE on May 1, 1917. Hubenthal moved to California in 1927. While at Hollywood High School, he studied at Chouinard Art Institute. He then went to work in the art department of the Los Angeles Herald Express and soon became a sports cartoonist. While in the marines during WWII, he was on the staff of Leatherneck magazine. After the war he freelanced in NYC before returning to Los Angeles in 1948. While at the Examiner, his political cartoons were nominated seven times for the Pulitzer Prize. After retiring in 1981 he painted landscapes and portraits at his home in Laguna Hills, CA until his demise on Aug. 13, 1988. Exh: Jewish Community Center (LA), 1960; Exposition Park (LA), 1970.
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Interview with the artist or his/her family.
Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

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