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Dick Locher
1929 -   Class of 2008  Visual Arts
Dick Locher began working in the art field as an Aircraft Concept Engineer while he was in the U.S. Air Force.  Upon discharge, he became assistant writer and artist for Rick Yager, the creator of the “Buck Rogers” comic strip in 1954.  
From 1957 to 1962, Dick was assistant writer and artist for Chester Gould, creator of the “Dick Tracy” comic strip, and then art director for the Hansen Company until 1968.

Born in Dubuque, Iowa, in 1929, Dick received his education at Loras College, Iowa, and the University of Iowa, completing his studies at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts (1951) and the Los Angeles Art Center School (1955).

Before Dick Locher was an award-winning cartoonist, he was merely a schoolboy with a page full of doodles.  “You would get kicked out of class for drawing cartoons,” he remembered, “but I had one instructor who would sneak up behind me while I was drawing.  One day he commented to me, ‘Keep at it, you might have a future,’ and I look back quite fondly on that.”

A painter and sculptor since 1960, Dick was owner of Novamark Corporation, a sales promotion agency, from 1968 – 1973.  Since 1972, he has made a living out of poking fun at political figures in his role as editorial cartoonist for the Chicago Tribune/Tribune Media Services, and in 1983 won a Pulitzer Prize for a cartoon showing a Superman-costumed Ronald Reagan falling out of a phone booth on his way to Central America.  Reagan was one of Dick’s biggest fans and would later ask for an autographed copy of a cartoon depicting himself as the Lone Ranger.  The Pulitzer accolade occurred the same week Chester Gould asked Dick to take over the “Dick Tracy” comic strip.  
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From 1983 – 2005 Dick was artist for the “Dick Tracy” comic strip, and then in 2005, became both artist and author.  It is estimated that more than 10 million people read “Dick Tracy” daily.  As a public service he incorporated the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted International Criminals into the comic strip, adding terrorists in 2002.

Ten books have been published that contain Dick Locher’s artwork, two of which he co-authored.  One of his books, Daze of Whine and Neurosis, is a compilation of political cartoons.  His cartoons have appeared in Life, Time, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, the Harvard Business Review, and The Congressional Record, among other notable popular and well-read publications.

Dick has lived in the Fox Valley area for 48 years and volunteers his time extensively by giving talks, art instruction, and lectures on fine arts and cartooning to educational institutions of all levels and senior residences located throughout the Chicago area.  He helped establish an art gallery for Naperville North High School in 1986, and frequently serves as a judge for several art leagues.  In 2006, he provided artwork for large posters for the Illinois Department of Tourism.

Dick Locher has been an inspiration to countless students.  He played an instrumental role in 1987 of establishing the Annual John Locher Memorial Award, in memory of his son, with generous assistance from the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists, and served as its chief administrator for 21 years.  The award is given to the best college cartoonist in the United States, Canada, or Mexico to help them gain recognition.

“Being an artist has colored my life, and the only thing that scares me is not being able to come to my drawing board,” Dick confessed.  He wakes up at 6 every morning with a blank piece of paper and has only a few hours to choose which figure to poke fun at that day.  “I’m like 007 – I’ve got a license to slay,” he described.

In addition to his Pulitzer Prize, other significant awards and recognitions bestowed upon Dick Locher during the past 4 decades include the following:  Scripps Howard Institute Award for Conservation, 1975; Dragonslayer Award, U.S. Industrial Council, 4 different years; Outstanding Leaders Award in Journalism, Chicago Festival of Leadership, 1981; Distinguished Health Journalism Award, 3 times; Overseas Press Club Award –Thomas Nast Award, 1982 and 1983; the Peter Lisagor Award, 4 times; World Population Institute, 1986; John Fischetti Editorial Cartooning Award, first place 1987; National Cartoonist Society Silver T-square Award, 2006.  In addition, he was named Citizen of the Year by the Illinois Crimestoppers organization.  

Dick Locher was honored in 1992 with an Honorary Doctorate from Benedictine University and again in 2002, with an Honorary Doctorate from Loras College.  From designing a jet bomber to drawing comic strips, to creating political cartoons to doing caricatures, even to designing a roof for his church, Dick Locher’s talents are far-ranging and ever-amazing.
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 Awards: Dragonslayer, Distinguished Health Journalism, Sigm