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Cunnington, Merle H. (1931-2013) | Special Collections & Archives

Name: Cunnington, Merle H. (1931-2013)
Variant Name: McHoward
Fuller Form: Merle Howard Cunnington

Historical Note:

Merle Howard Cunnington (1931-2013) was born near Sun Valley, Idaho in 1931. He studied history and political science at Utah State University, graduating in 1953. He met his future wife, Elsie Mae, in 1956 at friend’s wedding in the San Fernando Valley. They married in 1957 and had three children.

Cunnington worked at the Chevy plant in Van Nuys, California prior to his hiring as a teacher at Pacoima Jr. High School, where he worked from 1957-1960. In 1961, he transferred to Columbus Jr. High School, where he taught history and art until his retirement. He also taught art and cartooning classes at Pierce College, the California State University Northridge Extension, and Ventura College.

His interest in art led his to study at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles. Cunnington used the pen name McHoward for the first years of his cartooning career. He began working as a free-lance cartoonist for the Valley News in 1964 and was doing five cartoons a week when he left in May of 1978, just a few years after the paper was bought by the Chicago Tribune Co. In 1975 he illustrated The San Fernando Valley by Jackson Mayers.

Note Author: April Feldman

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