Wednesday, January 04, 2017


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Raymond Flanagan

Raymond Hugh Flanagan was born in South Bend, Indiana, on April 30, 1895, according to his World War II draft card. In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Flanagan was the youngest of five children born to Michael, a mail carrier, and Mary. Also in the household was Flanagan’s maternal grandmother, Catherine Commings. They all resided in Portage, Indiana at 1038 Jefferson Street.

In 1910, Flanagan and two older brothers were in the household of their widow mother. Their address was 714 Forest Avenue in South Bend, Indiana, and it would remained unchanged in the next two censuses.

In 1920, Flanagan was an illustrator with an advertising company. Almost five months after the census enumeration, Flanagan was injured in an automobile accident as reported in the Elkhart Truth (Indiana), May 3, 1920.

When a Ford roadster driven by Raymond Flanagan collided with a seven-passenger Oldsmobile occupied by A.R. Briese, Charles Eagon and Walter Williams, on the South Bend Niles road yesterday all four were painfully hurt—Flanagan the worst. All live in South Bend. Only the rear wheels of the Ford are usable. The other machine was also badly damaged.
Flanagan’s changed of jobs was reported in Printers’ Ink, September 29, 1921, and The Fourth Estate, October 1, 1921.
Raymond Flanagan, formerly at the head of the art department of the Lamport-MacDonald Company, advertising agency of South Bend, Ind., and Ralph Slick have opened an advertising art studio in South Bend.
Flanagan was counted twice in the 1930 census. In addition to being in his mother’s household in South Bend, Flanagan was an advertising artist in Chicago, Illinois. He roomed at the Harper Crest Hotel at 5345 Harper Avenue.

American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Flanagan was the first of four named artists to draw Albert Edward Wiggam’s Let’s Explore Your Mind, which debuted November 21, 1932. Flanagan left the series around 1941 and was followed by Jack Hamm, Ray T. Chatton and Bill Lignante. Flanagan’s work was reprinted in the 1950 comic book Personal Love. Additional information about Let’s Explore Your Mind is here.

The 1940 census said commercial artist Flanagan was married to Martha and resided at 1114 Belmont Avenue in South Bend.

According to Flanagan’s World War II draft card, he was self-employed and lived at 44 East Monroe in South Bend. He was described as 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighing 150 pounds. He had gray eyes and brown hair.

Flanagan passed away October 30, 1980, in South Bend, according to his death certificate at He was laid to rest at Highland Cemetery in South Bend.

—Alex Jay


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