Johnny Gruelle Facts

Johnny Gruelle Facts
Johnny Gruelle was an American author and illustrator best known for his children's series Raggedy Ann and Andy, as well as the very popular Mr. Twee Deedle cartoon. He was born December 24th, 1880 in Arcola, Illinois. His father Richard Buckner Gruelle was a portrait and landscape painter. Johnny's first published works were cartoons that appeared in 1905 in the Indianapolis Star. Between 1906 and 1911 many of Johnny's cartoons appeared in a variety of newspapers. Johnny won a cartoon contest sponsored by The New York Herald in 1911. He beat out 1,500 other entrants to win the contest, and soon afterwards he created his cartoon Mr. Twee Deedle, which was published from 1911 to 1914.
Interesting Johnny Gruelle Facts:
Johnny Gruelle's cartoons appeared in several different newspapers from 1911 to 1914 including The Spokane Press, The Tacoma Tomes, The Pittsburgh Press, and The Toledo News Bee. His cartoons during this period were usually signed Grue.
In 1914 Johnny Gruelle received his first book commission which included illustrating a volume of Grimms' Fairy Tales.
Johnny Gruelle had a daughter named Marcella. Johnny have her a ragdoll which he had drawn the face for, and called the doll Raggedy Ann.
When Johnny's daughter Marcella was vaccinated at school for smallpox, she was also given another shot. It was unknown what the shot was for. She contracted diphtheria and soon after died, at the age of 13 in 1915.
After Marcella's death Johnny became very heavy-hearted and the only item he kept near him in remembrance of her was a rag doll.
Marcella had loved the Raggedy Ann doll so much that Johnny patented it, in 1915. In order to secure the registered trademark for Raggedy Ann the Gruelle's made a number of the dolls to sell. The dolls predated the first Raggedy Ann book by three years.
The PF Volland Company went on to publish Raggedy Ann Stories in 1918, and continued with more books and Raggedy Ann dolls.
Johnny Gruelle wrote and illustrated a number of books including All About Cinderella (1916), My Very Own Fairy Stories (1917), Raggedy Ann Stories (1918), Friendly Fairies (1919), Little Sunny Stories (1919), Raggedy Andy Stories (1920), Orphant Annie (1921), Eddie Elephant (1921), Johnny Mouse and the Wishing Stick (1922), The Magical Land of Noom (1922), Raggedy Ann and Andy and the Camel with the Wrinkled Knees (1924), Wishing Pebble (1925), Beloved Belindy (1926), Marcella - A Raggedy Ann Story - Marcella Stories (1929), and Raggedy Ann's Magical Wishes.
Johnny Gruelle illustrated a number of books that he was not the author of including Grimms' Fairy Tales (1914), Nobody's Boy (1916), All About Hansel and Grethel (1917), All About the Little Small Red Hen (1917), Sunny Bunny (1918), The Bam Bam Clock (1920), and Quacky Doodles' and Danny Daddles' Book (1916).
Johnny Gruelle often created his final ink work without having first sketched in pencil which was common for illustrators.
In 1933 William H. Woodin set Johnny Gruelle's Raggedy Ann's Sunny Songs to music.
Johnny Gruelle had a heart condition for several years. He died on January 8th, 1938 of a heart attack in Miami Beach, Florida.


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