Al Schweitzer was a longtime cartoonist and illustrator with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Between 1981 and 1986, he was notable as the fifth artist to draw the paper's long-running front-page 'Weatherbird' cartoon. He should not be confused with German physician and humanitarian activist Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965), nor with baseball player Al Schweitzer (1882-1969). 

Early life
Albert L. Schweitzer, Jr. was born in 1921 as the son of Albert L. Schweitzer, Sr., a St. Louis prosecuting attorney, who was later president of the Board of Aldermen. Enlisted during World War II, Schweitzer captured the shouting, drilling, and marching of his Marine boot camp into a humorous illustrated booklet, which was sold in the Post Exchange. After his military training, he served in the United States Marine Corps on the battleship South Dakota as an anti-aircraft gunner.

Early career
Back in civilian life, Schweitzer took night classes and had his first job as illustrator wtih the Biederman Furniture Company in 1948. After six months, he left this job and did work for ad agencies before joining the advertising art staff of the St. Louis Star-Times newspaper during its final months in 1949. In the following year, he began his long tenure with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. After five years with the advertising staff, he was promoted to the newspaper's news art department in 1955, where he spent the next thirty years retouching photographs and making news illustrations. During the height of his career, his drawings were seen in over 300,000 St. Louis homes and businesses every day, and 500,000 on Sundays.

Al Schweitzer's boot camp booklet, released in 1944.

In 1981, Al Schweitzer succeeded Amadee Wohlschlaeger as the cartoonist of the daily 'Weatherbird'. These small cartoons appeared on the paper's front page to lighten up the daily weather report. One of the longest features in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Weatherbirds had been drawn subsequently by Harry B. Martin (1901-1903), Oscar Chopin (1903-1910), S. Carlisle Martin (1910-1932) and Amadee Wohlschlaeger (1932-1981), while the texts were written on a competitive basis in the paper's newsroom. Despite its long run, Schweitzer was only the fifth in row to draw the Weatherbird. Apparently, the cartoonist was the perfect fit for the birds, as the Post-Dispatch wrote in 2001: "He of the bow tie, straw boater, spiffy blazer and umbrella hooked over an arm. At times it seemed like he was a walking duplicate, at least in his attire, of many of the Weatherbirds of the 1920s." Schweitzer's Weatherbirds were notable for being overall happy cigar chompers. They were also the first to be drawn consistently in color. Al Schweitzer drew the feature until his retirement in December 1986, when Dan Martin took over.

Freelance cartooning
A notable excursion from Schweitzer's newspaper work was a 1967 folded poster detailing the history of St. Louis in full-color illustrations. Sold through the Rivercity Publishing Co., the poster sold over 60,000 copies. Another freelance job at the time was making editorial cartoons for a syndication of Catholic newspapers in the United States and Canada. During the 1960s, when racial debates deeply divided the country, Schweitzer supported the African-American civil rights movement and took a left-wing progressive approach. As Schweitzer remembered in a 2001 interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, he "began losing papers" because of this.

In 1961, Albert Schweitzer received the Catholic Press Association Journalism award for "Best Editorial Cartoon". His Post-Dispatch cartoons and art are part of the collection at the St. Louis Mercantile Library. He was a longtime member of the Missouri Athletic Club.

Final years and death
After his retirement, Albert Schweitzer and his wife Hélène enjoyed traveling extensively and visiting the opera. He was additionally an active sailor, selling custom sailboats and racing on Lake Carlyle until his mid-70s. After his wife died, he moved to live with his son and family in Georgia. Albert L. Schweitzer spent his final years in the Bethesda Barclay House in Clayton, Missouri, and passed away on 30 January 2023 at the age of 101.

Three Weatherbirds artists in 1986: Albert Schweitzer, Amadée Wohlschlaeger and Dan Martin.

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