Thursday, March 15, 2012


Ink-Slinger Profiles: Jeanne Harris

Jeanne L. Harris was born in Lexington, Kentucky on July 22, 1905, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer obituary and the Social Security Death Index. In the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, she was the fourth of six children born to George and Ann. They lived in Lexington, Kentucky. Her father was a clergyman at a Catholic church.

In 1920 the family of 11 lived in Witherspoon, Kentucky on McCracken Road. The Plain Dealer said she graduated from Western College for women in Oxford, Ohio. In 1930 she was boarding in Cincinnati, Ohio at 423 Probasco Avenue. Her occupation was advertiser at a department store. The obituary said

Harris was Plain Dealer promotion art director for nine years and creative director for a year. She was art director for the Higbee Co. and a freelance artist before coming to The Plain Dealer….

…She illustrated "Sneakers," a cartoon featuring grooming and deportment tips; "Easy Etiquette," cartoon which focused on the do's and don'ts of daily personal relationships, and "Camping Tips." She continued "Easy Etiquette" after retirement….

Sneakers, a weekly panel, was written by Mary Strassmeyer. The panel debuted on September 12, 1964. In the Plain Dealer Magazine of May 16, 1965, Harris and Strassmeyer's cartoon was touted for being picked for syndication by King Features. Beginning on February 28, 1969, Sneakers was published three times a week, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. On November 18, 1970, the Plain Dealer reported, "Sneakers has a new look…[and] has changed in appearance and content. The drawings are brighter, the captions contain more information and the ideas are coming from teen-agers themselves."

The first Sneakers, 9/12/1964.

The revamped Sneakers, 11/18/1970.

Easy Etiquette debuted on Sunday, January 8, 1967 in the Plain Dealer. On the tenth, the paper announced, " 'Easy Etiquette,' a new cartoon feature will appear three times a week in The Plain Dealer." In October 1968 it was picked up by the Register and Tribune Syndicate, according to the Plain Dealer on October 20.

The first Easy Etiquette, 1/8/1967.

Family Camping Tips (published as Camping Tips in some papers) began on March 17, 1967 in the Plain Dealer. It continued to appear papers as late as 1984.

The first Family Camping Tips, 3/17/1967.

Harris passed away on October 27, 1973 in Cleveland, Ohio. Her death was reported in the Plain Dealer on October 29.


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