Ralph Graczak - 2013

Joseph Pulitzer Jr, came to to Post-Dispatch staff artist Ralph Graczak in1940 with an idea for a new comic strip.  Pulitzer thought everyone should have their name in the newspaper at least once, and a good way to do it was with a cartoon similar to Ripley's Believe it or Not.  St. Louis Oddities was born, later to become Our Own Oddities, and became, along with its artist, one of the most widely read and beloved features in St. Louis journalism history.  Graczak received hundreds of letters a week, submitting the likes of gourds shaped like Richard Nixon to talking dogs, and he personally verified each of them.  The strip lasted until 1990. Graczak was a brilliant illustrator. His caricatures of celebrities often highlighted the Everyday section and TV book and were much admired by fellow artists, including then-colleague and Hall of Fame member Bill Mauldin  Another local neigborhood cigar-smoking young cartoonist was Hall of Fame member Amadee Wohlschlaeger, who convinced the young Gracak to quit the Katy Railroad and join the Post. Graczak retired from the Post in 1980.