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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

KUEKES, EDWARD DANIEL

KUEKES, EDWARD DANIEL

KUEKES, EDWARD DANIEL (2 Feb. 1901-13 Jan. 1987) won Cleveland journalism's only unshared Pulitzer Prize for his work as cartoonist for the Cleveland PLAIN DEALER. Ed Kuekes moved with his family from his native Pittsburgh, Pa., to BEREA in 1913. There he graduated from Berea High School before pursuing art studies at the Cleveland School of Art (see CLEVELAND INSTITUTE OF ART) and the Chicago Academy of Fine Art. In 1922 he married Clare Gray of Berea and began his career at the Plain Dealer as understudy for cartoonist JAMES H. DONAHEY. Two weeks after Donahey's death, Kuekes was named editorial cartoonist of the Plain Dealer on 13 June 1949. His Pulitzer Prize came in 1953 for a cartoon which had appeared in the Plain Dealer on 9 Nov. 1952. Entitled "Aftermath," it depicted 2 stretcher-bearers carrying a fallen soldier from a Korean battlefield. One informed the other that the victim wasn't old enough to have voted in the recent election. By the time of his retirement on 28 Feb. 1966, Kuekes had produced more than 5,000 cartoons, the originals of which he donated to the Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse Univ. Several of his etchings had been exhibited at the Cleveland MAY SHOW. Kuekes also performed publicly as an amateur magician, which gave him his cartoonist's trademark of a magician's rabbit dubbed the "Kernel." Kuekes and his wife, Clara, had 2 sons, Edward and George. They resided in BEREA, NORTH OLMSTED, and ROCKY RIVER. He died at the Baptist Retirement Home in Oklahoma City, Okla.