The Chicago Policed Department has had a long and brutal past, going back to Prohibition and beyond.
This cartoon is the first editorial cartoon I had published in any newspaper. I was working for the Chicago American, soon to be re-named Chicago Today. It was owned by the Chicago Tribune until they closed it in 1974 two years after I’d left to start my own business.
We had two editorial cartoonists, Vaughn Shoemaker and Wayne Stayskal, but they both took Monday off. I was working as a staff artist in the art department and asked the art director if I could draw an editorial cartoon for Mondays. He talked to the editor who approved my request and this is the first cartoon.
We had a page one headline story that day that the CPD had a Ku Klux Klan cell operating in the department. This happened in 1968, the same year of the police riot in Grant Park during the Democratic Convention.
Stumped for an idea, I was walking across the Michigan Ave. bridge when a gust of wind blew up the dress of a woman walking in front of me. The idea came to me in an instant and launched a career.