Duncan Ian Macpherson, born on September 20, 1924, in Toronto, and passing away on May 3, 1993, in Beaverton, Ontario, was a celebrated Canadian editorial cartoonist. His career took off with the Montreal Standard in 1948, and he later became renowned for his political cartoons in the Toronto Star from 1958 to 1993. Macpherson’s work reached a global audience, appearing in prominent publications like Time, The New York Times, and nearly 150 other newspapers worldwide. Before his cartooning career, Macpherson served in World War II with the Royal Canadian Air Force and briefly managed his family’s textile business after his father’s death. He studied at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the Ontario College of Art, honing his artistic skills.

Macpherson joined the Toronto Star in 1958, where his cartoons, known for their sharp wit and exquisite draftsmanship, became a staple for readers. His style, a blend of humor and biting satire, was often directed against pomposity in all its forms. He was recognized for his bold and distinctive brushwork, with his work exhibited at the Art Gallery of Toronto and published in several books. Macpherson retired from the Toronto Star twice, the second time just days before his death in 1993. His legacy is preserved in the Duncan Macpherson fonds at Library and Archives Canada and in the complete collection of his editorial cartoons at the McCord Museum.

Macpherson’s political cartoons were known for their unrelenting style. He is often remembered for a famous cartoon of John Diefenbaker as Marie Antoinette, which marked a turning point in public opinion against the Diefenbaker government. His influence in the world of editorial cartooning was profound, with fellow cartoonist Terry Mosher noting Macpherson’s significant impact on the field. Macpherson’s work continues to be recognized for its critical role in Canadian political commentary and satire.

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