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Collins, John (1917 - 2007)

John Collins original cartoon artwork.

John Collins was born in Washington D.C. His father moved to Montreal with his family in 1920. Collins discovered that he had the ability to "draw pictures and get a laugh." In 1939, while still a student, Collins sold his first cartoon to the Montreal Gazette, and soon after became the paper's first editorial cartoonist, a position he held for the next 40 years, until he retired in 1982. Collins earned a reputation for being competent, fast, uncomplaining and reliable. Critics often remarked that one of the distinguishing traits of his drawings was an absence of malice, that he was able to make his point without offending his subject. The cartoons Collins drew during World War II were particularly popular, with several being reprinted in The New York Times. John Collins gave us "Uno Who," a figure wearing a barrel and a bowler hat too large for his head who personified the average taxpayer. Uno Who first appeared in 1940 and just kept on coming back, until Collins retired. He was, in effect, Collins's trademark.