American cartoonist born in Waukegan. Illinois, on September 11. 1867. J.C. Cory was educated in Waukegan and began cartooning in New York in 1896. His style was breezy, with slashing, thick-and-thin pen strokes held together by beautiful areas of precise, old-fashioned crosshatching; he and Fred Morgan of the Philadelphia Inquirer were probably the last great crosshatch political cartoonists. Throughout his career the doctrinaire Democrat drew for many of America’s largest newspapers and magazines, including the New York World and Harper’s Weekly.
Cory´s significance lies in his enterprising approach to cartooning, however. He was a self-starter, almost a vagabond, who worked in many formats, experimented with the business end and was a pioneer syndicator. As a publisher, he put out the Great West monthly in 1907-08 and the Bee, an oversized chromolithographed humorous weekly, during the Spanish-American War. In 1912, beginning a practice that was to continue for two decades, he became a paid cartoonist for a political party; the Democrats supplied Cory cartoons to any paper that could use them. Soon afterward, in the early days of large-scale syndication, Cory started a syndicate, distributing his own cartoons and those of others. He ran a correspondence school and published hooks leaching the elements of cartooning, including Cory’s Hands and The Cartoonist’s Art. Active in other spheres as well, Cory was a prospector, miner, champion balloonist, pioneer aviator, big game hunter, sportswriter and athlete.
Cory was responsible for helping many youngsters into professional cartooning careers. Charles Kuhn was one, and Cory’s niece, Fanny Y. Cory, was another; just after she had her first work published in St. Nicholas, she became a featured contributor to the Bee, and her uncle boosted her early work through newspaper syndication as well.
The World Encyclopedia of Cartoons 1981