American Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1877. Nelson Harding was educated at the Greenwich Academy in Connecticut and studied art at the Art Students League, the Chase School and the New York School of Design. In 1895 he was apprenticed to an architect but quit in 1898 to serve with the Rough Riders under Theodore Roosevelt at San Juan Hill. He was a lithographer from 1899 to 1907 and then freelanced as an illustrator for a few months before joining the Brooklyn Eagle as its staff cartoonist in 1908. He remained with the Eagle for 21 years.
Harding’s ideas were always well conceived, but his drawings seemed to betray an even more painstaking execution. Indeed, throughout his career Harding’s style was stiff, almost awkward. The anatomy was always rudimentary, caricature limited, and attempts at loose shading belabored and mechanical. But Harding’s concepts were clever and forceful; his skill and overall excellence were reflected in his two Pulitzers (1927 and 1928) and in the fact that Hearst lured him away in 1929 to draw for the New York Journal.
A collection of his cartoons. The Political Campaign of 1912 in Cartoons, was published by the Eagle in 1912. For years he wrote and illustrated the front-page column “Here and Now” in the Eagle. He retired in 1943 and died on December 30, 1944.
the World Encyclopedia of Cartoons 1981