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Who was Sir David Low?

Updated on December 3, 2016

Sir David Low, (1891-1963), British caricaturist, born at Dunedin, New Zealand. He worked for various New Zealand papers till 1911, when he joined the staff of the Sydney Bulletin, New South Wales. He went to London in 1919 at the invitation of the Star, on the suggestion, it is said, of Arnold Bennett, and became as celebrated for his portraits of Lloyd George as was Sir F. C. Gould for his pictures of Joseph Chamberlain. He left the Star for the Evening Standard in 1927, and moved to the Daily Herald in 1950; in 1953 he became political cartoonist of the Manchester Guardian, now the #Guardian#, where he remained until his death.

Low's work is remarkably free from the conventional devices of the professional cartoonist, and in drawings of celebrities in various walks of life, appearing in the New Statesman, showed a great gift for genially humorous portraiture. His most noted stock character, Col. Blimp, pungently satirized a type.

His appeals to national sentiment were founded on an understanding of the principal political figures of 1932-45, from Churchill, Baldwin and Chamberlain to Mussolini, Hitler and Goering, who were portrayed with rare genius.

He was knighted in 1962. He published collections of his cartoons, including The New Rake's Progress, 1934, Years of Wrath, 1949, and The Fearful Fifties, 1960.


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