HELEN HOKINSON Biography - Other artists & entretainers


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Name: Helen Hokinson                                                                   
Born: 29 June 1893                                                                     
Died: 1 November 1949                                                                 
Helen Hokinson (June 29, 1893 - November 1, 1949) was an American cartoonist and       
a staff cartoonist for The New Yorker.                                                 
She was born in Mendota, Illinois, the daughter of Adolph Hokinson, a farm             
machinery salesman, and Mary Hokinson, the daughter of Phineas Wilcox, the "Carpenter 
Orator". She studied at the Academy of Fine Arts (now known as the School of the       
Art Institute of Chicago), and worked as a freelance fashion illustrator in           
Chicago for department stores such as Marshall Fields.                                 
In 1920, Hokinson moved to New York City and began her career as a cartoonist.         
She was one of the first cartoonists to be published in The New Yorker,               
appearing in the magazine for the first time in 1925. She specialized in wealthy,     
plump, and ditsy society women and their foibles, referring to them as 'My Best       
Girls', those denizens of women's clubs, beauty parlors, art galleries, summer         
resorts, and Lane Bryant, when she gave them a title to one of her collections         
of The New Yorker drawings. According to James Thurber and Brendan Gill,               
Hokinson relied on the magazine's staff writers to provide captions for her           
cartoons, a common practice at The New Yorker in the Harold Ross era, until           
entering into a professional partnership with James Reid Parker in 1931.               
Hokinson and Parker also provided a monthly cartoon for the Ladies Home Journal       
as well as occasional cartoons for advertising campaigns and other magazines.         
Hokinson died in the Eastern Airlines Flight 537 mid-air collision at Washington       
National Airport on November 1, 1949. She left dozens of cartoons, many of which       
were published by The New Yorker in subsequent months. Her estate published           
three volumes of her cartoons in the 1950s.