Jerry Dumas

Jerry Dumas


Dumas was born in 1930 and started drawing when he was 9 years old, continuing to cartoon when he was in high school in his native Detroit.

I used to get on the bus and go into downtown Detroit and sell cartoons to Teen magazine for $2, he remembers. I really thought I had made it. I was aiming for The New Yorker and Saturday Evening Post. He finally was published in the Saturday Evening Post at age 26 and The New Yorker at 29.

After finishing high school, he joined the Air Force and was stationed in Arizona. He remained in the Grand Canyon State to attend Arizona State University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in English literature in 1955. Fifty years later, he was invited back to speak at commencement.

In 1956, Dumas decided he wanted to be a writer, a cartoonist or both. He went to New York, where he eventually met Mort Walker through a mutual friend. They have worked together for more than 50 years.

Dumas has published An Afternoon in Waterloo Park, a memoir, and Rabbits Rafferty, a children’s novel. His prose and poetry have appeared in The Atlantic, Smithsonian, The New York Times and The Washington Post.

He has been the handball champion of Greenwich, Conn., more than 20 times since 1956. He won the state championship in 1971 and 1976, and the New England title in 1971.

He lives in Connecticut with his wife, Gail. The Dumases have three sons, Timothy, David and John.