Weatherbird by Amadee WohlschlaegerWeatherbird by Amadee WohlschlaegerWeatherbird by Amadee Wohlschlaeger

Amadee Wohlschlaeger was an American cartoonist, who drew the 'Weatherbird' newspaper feature for nearly 50 years, between 1932 and 1981. He also created a comic strip, 'Herkimer' (1946-1952).

Amadee Wohlschlaeger was born in 1911 in St. Louis, Missouri, as the son of a printer. He never went to high school, but his passion for drawing did encourage him to take art classes at Washington University. In 1925, at the age of 14, Wohlschlaeger worked as a copy boy for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, a newspaper where his father was employed. By 1929 he became an illustrator for this paper.

In 1932 Wohlschlaeger succeeded S. Carlisle Martin as the regular cartoonist of the 'Weatherbird' cartoon. The 'Weatherbird' cartoon was a small cartoon of a bird which lightened up the daily weather report in the paper. The character originally made its debut in 1901 under the pen of Harry B. Martin. Martin had passed the feature on to Oscar Chopin in 1903, who drew it until 1910 after which he passed it on to S. Carlisle Martin. Wohlschlaeger was the fourth cartoonist to continue 'Weatherbird' and also continued it for the longest time: 49 years! His successor in 1981 was Albert Schweitzer (not to be confused with the famous physician of the same name) who passed the pencil to Dan Martin in 1986. As of 2017 Martin still draws 'Weatherbird' for The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, making it the oldest and longest running magazine mascot still used by its original publication. The topical "bird lines", which commented on the news of the day, were written by editor Carlos F. Hurd until 1950. From then on, the writing was handled on a competitive basis in the Post-Dispatch newsroom.

In 1936 Wohlschlaeger also started making contributions to the sports section of the paper. He made various sports cartoons and became the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's political cartoonist as well in 1939. Sports remained a passion, as he illustrated various covers for The Sporting News, as well as the football programs of the University of Missouri and the annual Baseball Writers dinners in St. Louis. In 1992, as a tribute, he was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. From 10 April 1946 to 11 October 1953 he also had a Sunday comic in the paper called 'Herkimer'.

Amadee Wohlschlaeger retired in 1981. The artist celebrated his 100th birthday at the Mari de Villa Retirement Community in Town & Country in 2011. He passed away on 24 June 2014, at the age of 102.


Amadee Wohlschlaeger in 1951

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