NORTHEAST HIGH SCHOOL KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI

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MORTON "MORT" WALKER

He was born ADDISON MORTON WALKER on March 10, 1923 in El Dorado, Kansas. The following is a brief chronological list of events in his life:
 
Published his 1st cartoon at age 11.
 
Sold his 1st cartoon at age 12.
 
Sold cartoons to "Child Life", "Inside Detective" and "Flying Aces" magazines at age 14.
 
Drew the comic strip, "The Lime Juicers", for the weekly "Kansas City Journal.
 
Chief Editorial Designer at Hall Bros. for their line of "Hallmark" cards at age 18.

1941Graduated from Northeast High School in Kansas City, Missouri.
 
1943 - Drafted into the Army and was an intelligence and investigating officer. He served in Italy and was also in charge of a German POW camp. He was posted in Italy after the war and was in charge of an Italian guard company.
 
1947 - Discharged as a 1st Lt.
 
1948 - Graduated from Missouri University where he was the editor and art director of the school's humor magazine "Showme". He was president of the local Kappa Sigma chapter.
 
Went to New York City to pursue a cartoon career where he worked as Editor for three Dell Publishing Co. magazines.
 
His first 200 cartoons were rejected. However, within two years he became the top-selling magazine cartoonist in the country.
 
He created cartoon character for the Saturday Evening Post, a student named "Spider". From what I understand, "Spider" was based upon a classmate of his at Northeast. Publishing giant William Randolph Hearst suggested that he move the character to an Army base and change the name. "BEETLE BAILEY" was born and first appeared in September of 1950. I have heard that a lot of the strip is based upon experiences at Camp Crowder in Neosho, Missouri.
 
1950 - King Features picked "BEETLE BAILEY" for syndication. It was eventually distributed to 1800 newspapers in over 50 countries, reaching a total readership of 200 million daily.
 
1951 - "BEETLE" stumbles into an Army recruiting post during the Korean War and the circulation climbs.
 
In the early 1950's, the comic strip was dropped from the Tokyo edition of "The Stars & Stripes" because it showed a lack of respect for officers.

1953 - Received the Reuben Award for Beetle Bailey.

1954 - Mort and Dik Browne collaborated to write a spin-off of Beetle Bailey they titled, "Hi and Lois". Lois was Beetle's sister.

1966 - Received the National Cartoonists Society's Humor Strip Award.

1969 - Received the National Cartoonists society's Humor Strip Award.

1968 - Using the pseudonym "Addison" he started "Boner's Ark". Other comic strips he started were "Gamin and Patches", "Mrs. Fritz's Flats", "The Evermores", "Sam's Strip" and "Sam and Silo". The last two were with Jerry Dumas.
 
1974 - Founded the Museum of Cartoon Art.

1977 - Received the Elzie Segar Award.

1978 - Received the American Legion's Fourth Estate Award.

1980 - Writes book entitled "The Lexicon of Comicana". It is a satirical look at the things which cartoonists use. He invented a vocabulary called "Symbolia." For example, the term "squeans" describes the starbursts and little circles that appear around a character's head to indicate intoxication. "Grawlixes" refer to typographical symbols that represents profanities which are used instead of actual dialogue.
 
1989 - Inducted into the Museum of Cartoon Art Hall of Fame.

1999 - Received the Gold T-Square Award and the Elzie Segar Award and other awards.

2000 - The University of Missouri stages a Beetle Bailey 50th anniversary exhibition. It was located in the grand concourse of the elmer Ellis Library. It displayed original daily and Sunday strips, published reprints and poster-size lithographs of selected strips. He also received Decoration for Distinguished Civilian Service by the United States Army.

2006 - Started a 24-page magazine, "The Best of Times", distributed free of charge all over Connecticut and is also available online. Featured were ads, artwork, editorial cartoons and articles, comics and columns which were syndicated by King Features. neal Walker, his son, was eidotr and publisher. From 2006 to 2010 they published 27 issues.

2010 - Received the Sparky Award for lifetime achievement from the Cartoon art Museum during the New York Comic-Con.
 
Roughly 1800 newspapers now carry the "BEETLE BAILEY" comic strip.

Walker has nine children. He still supervises the comic strips at his Connecticut home where he has employed six of his children.

 
You can find more information about MORT on other Internet sites.
_________________________
 
SENIOR credits  ---  1940-1941
 
MORTON belonged to the following NE organizations:
 
Art Club
Art Honor Society
Art Staff - Nor'easter
Cartoonist - Nor'easter
Class Day Committee
Cheerleader
Courier Staff - 2nd Semester
Field Day
Golf Team
HI-Y - President
Home Room Officer
JR-SR Prom Committee
M.I.P.A. Meet
Northeast High School Day - Representative
Northeast Society of Debate - President, 1st Semester
Safety Pins
Senior Ballot - "Social Lion"
Senior Class Officer - Sergeant-at-Arms
Student Council - Vice-President, 1st Semester
Viking Varieties - Singer
 
 
"The SAFETY PINS, a group of writers and actors with the sinister "BUTCH DEATH" as their trademark, feel that safety programs can be effective without being "preachy". Under the direction of Miss Hortense Miller and in cooperation with the Safety Committee of the Student Council, they have helped to make Northeast the safest district in Kansas City."   1941 Nor'easter
 
The Senior Class picture below was also used to show him as:
 
Nor'easter Cartoonist    
Senior Class Officer - Sgt-at-Arms
Senior Ballot - "Social Lion"
 

Senior Class photo
walker-senior-photo.jpg
1941 Nor'easter

Northeast Society of Debate - President
walker-nsd.jpg
1941 Nor'easter

Northeast High School Day - Representative
walker-nehs-day-rep.jpg
1941 Nor'easter

HI-Y President
walker-hi-y-president.jpg
1941 Nor'easter

Northeast Society of Debate picnic
walker-nsd-picnic.jpg
I believe MORTON is in the middle of the group. 1941 Nor'easter

Art Club
walker-art-club.jpg
1941 Nor'easter

Art Honor Society
waker-art-honor-society.jpg
1941 Nor'easter

Art Staff Committee
walker-art-committee.jpg
1941 Nor'easter

Courier Staff - Second Semester
walker-courier-staff.jpg
1941 Nor'easter

Safety Pins
walker-safety-pins.jpg
1941 Nor'easter

At a Safety Pins meeting
walker-safety-pins-meeting.jpg
1941 Nor'easter

Junior-Senior Prom Committee
walker-jr-sr-prom-comm.jpg
1941 Nor'easter

Viking Varieties
walker-viking-varieties.jpg
1941 Nor'ester

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