Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Dick Locher passed away earlier today. He was 88. Locher got his start on “Dick Tracy” as Chester Gould’s assistant on the daily comic, and later took over as artist and writer on the popular strip. He began drawing editorial cartoons for the Chicago Tribune in 1973 and won the Pulitzer in 1983. Dick continued to draw political cartoons even after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, only announcing his retirement in 2013.
Current Tribune staff cartoonist Scott Stantis wrote this remembrance of his friend:
"Cartoonists are actually pretty boring. So much of their life is played out in the deepest recesses of their minds, where the light of civil conversation cannot reach. Dick Locher was not boring. Born on an Iowa farm, he went on to be a jet fighter pilot, successful commercial artist, Pulitzer Prize winning editorial cartoonist and author of decades of Dick Tracy comic strips. But this is just a list of what Dick Locher did. What he was was even more extraordinary. In this world of snapchat vulgarity Dick was that rare breed: a courtly gentleman.
"When I was lucky enough to be named editorial cartoonist here at the Chicago Tribune one of the very first people to reach out and congratulate me was Dick Locher. I first met Dick years earlier at an Association of American Editorial Cartoonists convention. As a wet-behind-the-ears cartoonist I was in awe of this giant of our industry but, like a true gentleman, he put me at ease and we became fast friends. Dick has always been a font of encouragement, advice and good humor. An example: during a golf outing in Toronto I was part of a foursome with Dick. As bad a golfer as I am I was worse that day. Yet after every slice, hook and hack Dick would be there saying something encouraging. Teeing it up on the 18th hole I can still hear Dick say 'Hit a good one, Scott. Lord knows you’re due…'
"He took great joy in the love story he and his Mary lived. They cleaved to each other through the highs of a remarkable career and the deepest sorrows of losing their son, John. Theirs was the kind of marriage we all hear about and wish for but rarely witness. It will be an odd thing not to say ‘Dick and Mary’ as one word any more.
"Now we live in a world without Dick Locher in it and it’s is a darker place without this bright light."