Opper, Frederick Burr

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OPPER, FREDERICK BURR (1857–1937), U.S. political cartoonist; an originator of the comic strip. Opper left Madison, Ohio, for New York, where he worked for 18 years on the weekly Puck. He joined Hearst's New York Journal in 1899, and his work was then syndicated through the International News. Opper depicted suburban types which became familiar to almost every American household. He also became Hearst's leading political caricaturist, lampooning the eccentricities of public figures, particularly during election campaigns.

A volume of his political drawings, Willie and his Papa, was published in 1901. His cartoons on England, John Bull, appeared in 1903. Other collections were Alphabet of Joyous Trusts (1902), Our Antediluvian Ancestors (1903), two volumes of his character Happy Hooligan (1902–07) and Maud and the Matchless (1907). Opper also illustrated the work of some of his contemporary humorists, including Mark Twain, Peter Finley Dunne, Bill Nye, and George V. Hobart.


dab, 23 (1958), 504f. (incl. bibl.).