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George Whitelaw (1887-1957)


George Whitelaw (1887-1957)

Described by the critic Percy V Bradshaw as ‘a first class draughtsman… with a splendid sense of character and unerring feeling for composition’, George Whitelaw contributed greatly to the British satirical response to the Second World War, working alongside contemporaries such as HM Bateman, Cyril Bird (Fougasse) and Sir David Low.

George Whitelaw was born in Kirkintilloch, East Dumbartonshire on 22 June 1887. His father, William Whitelaw, was the Medical Officer of Health for the district. In 1904, aged just 17, he joined the staff of the Glasgow Evening News as a cartoonist, a post he held whilst studying at the Glasgow School of Art under illustrator and Royal Academician Maurice Greiffenhagen. Whitelaw served in the Tank Corps during the First World War, before joining Punch following the Armistice. In 1938, he replaced Will Dyson as staff cartoonist at The Daily Herald, a position he held through the Second World War. He retired in 1949, being replaced at the Herald by Sir David Low. He died on 19 September 1957.


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