MORT GERBERG ('52): A Tireless Cartoonist

One of the country's leading cartoonists, Mort Gerberg began trying out "what-ifs" as an upper freshman at Baruch College when he sold Ralph Ginzburg, editor in chief of The Ticker, a cartoon panel called "City Snickers," which soon became one of the newspaper’s most popular features.

After the army, Mort began his freelance career, selling cartoons to all the major magazines, including Look; The Saturday Evening Post; Harper’s; The Saturday Review; Publisher’s Weekly, where he created its only-ever cartoon panel; Playboy; and The New Yorker, where he has achieved his chief recognition.

mort gerbergHis ability to draw quickly led him to develop cartoon formats for television, principally with NBC News. He contributed to Channel 4's election coverage as its first-ever cartoonist-commentator and appeared with Barbara Walters on the Today show and on NBC Network's 1973 presidential inauguration coverage with Edwin Newman. He broadened his cartoon-performances to team with Shari Lewis in her home video, Lamb Chop in the Land of No Manners, and was a member of an off-Broadway musical-improvisation theatre group, instant-sketching locations suggested by audiences.

Mort's television work also included magazine shows, such as Grandstand and Woman for WCBS-TV, AM New York for WABC-TV, and The 51st State for PBS, where he wrote and drew animated fables he designed specifically for a low budget.

One of the first cartoonists online, Mort created interactive content for ABC-TV’s debut programming on AOL.

Mort has also written, drawn, and edited a total of 39 books, for both adults and children, including Cartooning: The Art and the Business and Joy in Mudville: The Big Book of Baseball Humor. His latest book, Last Laughs: Cartoons About Aging, Retirement . . . and the Great Beyond, is due to be published by Scribner next October, which describes it as a "must-have" for "anyone with a slightly morbid sense of humor."

MICHAEL GILLESPIE

Cartoon reprinted by permission of Mort Gerberg and The New Yorker

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