Tuesday, December 05, 2017


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Don/Dom J. Lavin

Dominic John Lavin was born in San Francisco, California, on December 9, 1874, according to his Social Security application. Lavin’s World War I draft card had his full name. He has not yet been found in the 1880 and 1900 U.S. Federal Censuses. San Francisco city directories for 1890, 1891, 1896 and 1897 listed a Dominic Lavin, at 911 Vallejo, who was a clerk at H. Huddleston & Co.

Information regarding Lavin’s education and art training has not been found. According to a 1900 Chicago city directory, Lavin was an artist residing at 5660 Madison Avenue. In the 1901 directory Lavin was at the Chicago American, which became the Examiner in 1904, and lived at 648 65th Street.

The Cook County marriage index said Lavin married Amelia Esther Preston in Chicago on April 17, 1901.

Lavin was with the Examiner when he exhibited forty works in the First Annual Exhibition [of the] Newspaper Cartoonists’ and Artists’ Association at the Art Institute in May 1905. In the Chicago Tribune, March 28, 1949, Frank King recalled when Lavin hired him to work in the Examiner art department (see page 14).

The Tribune, September 30, 1909, reported a tragic accident at Lavin’s home (see column 3).

The 1910 census did not record Lavin’s occupation. He and his wife had an eight-year-old son, Robert, and employed a housekeeper. They resided in Chicago at 6510 Ingleside Avenue.

Lavin illustrated for a number periodicals including Wayside Tales, The Idler, The Day Book, and The Green Book.

Lavin was associated with the Federal School of Applied Cartooning and Federal School of Commercial Designing.

Lavin was an instructor at Chicago's American Academy of Art where one of his student’s was William Juhre.

During his time at the Tribune, Lavin was an avid golfer as noted in The Scoop and The Fourth Estate.

On September 12, 1918, Lavin signed his World War I draft card. He was art editor at the Tribune. He was described as tall, medium build with gray eyes and brown hair.

In 1919 Lavin left the Tribune and joined the the Charles Daniel Frey Company. 

Tribune 3/21/1919

Lavin’s address was unchanged in the 1920 and 1930 censuses. He worked in advertising. Advertising Arts and Crafts (1927) had this listing for him, “Lavin, Dom J., 63 E. Adams, Wab 6480 Chicago, Ill.”

Lavin drew The New Deal in Pictures for the NEA which ran it from July 27 to August 10, 1933. American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Lavin drew Do You Know? for the Chicago Defender. The panel ran from April 4 to June 6, 1936.

At some point Lavin moved to California. The 1940 Paseadena city directory listed commercial artist Lavin at 335 Parke and the name of his second wife, Hazel. Cartoonist Lavin was at 262 Palmetto Drive in the 1947 directory. The Pasadena directories from 1949 to 1956 had Lavin’s address as 364 Rosemont Avenue.

Lavin passed away June 14, 1958
. His death was reported in the Independent Star-News (Pasadena, California), the following day.

Don Lavin, 83-year-old veteran newspaper artist and contributor to The Independent Star-News, died yesterday at a Pasadena rest home.

Lavin, who resided at 364 Rosemont St., Pasadena, was admitted to the home four weeks ago of treatment of a heart condition.

A native of San Francisco, Lavin was head artist for the Chicago Tribune for many years before coming to California. While here, his work appeared from time to time in this newspaper.

He is survived by a son, R. Preston Lavin, of Chicago, and a close friend, Ernest Spaulding of Pasadena.

Funeral services are pending at the Lamb Funeral Home.

—Alex Jay


Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]