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Jay Norwood "Ding" Darling (1876–1962)

 

During his lifetime, "Ding" Darling was most widely known for his editorial cartoons, which appeared in nearly 150 newspapers nationwide and earned him two Pulitzer Prizes. All were drawn before the advent of television and many were drawn before radio—an era when newspapers were the primary source of information and commentary. Published with near-daily frequency, sometimes on the front page, Darling's cartoons had an enormous impact on public opinion.

Although "Ding" earned his living as an editorial cartoonist, his passion was teaching the wise use of the world's natural resources. Skilled in public speaking, articulate in writing, Darling devoted his special talents to conservation education and to developing programs and institutions which would benefit wildlife. The National Wildlife Federation, the Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit Program, the Federal Duck Stamp Program, all owe their early existence to Darling's forceful leadership and conservation ethic.

The prize-winning biography Ding: The Life of Jay Norwood Darling, by David L. Lendt is a must-read for all who are engaged in the on-going battle to conserve our nation's precious natural resources. While by definition the story of one individual, it is at the same time a fascinating history of the early conservation movement in the United States.

The Papers of Jay N. Darling is an extraordinary archive maintained by Special Collections at the University of Iowa. It consists of over 60 lineal feet of materials including letters, manuscripts, and speeches.   Additionally, Special Collections maintains a searchable archive of nearly 12,000 of "Ding" Darling's original editorial cartoons that are viewable online.

For a bibliography of books by and about Jay N. "Ding" Darling, click here.