Born Thomas Aloysius Dorgan in San Francisco, CA on April 29, 1877, Dorgan was a cartoonist who signed all his drawings TAD.
At age thirteen he injured three fingers on his right hand in a factory machine accident and took up drawing as a form of therapy. One year later, at the age of 14, he joined the art staff at the San Francisco Bulletin. In 1902 he was employed by the San Francisco Chronicle and created his first weekly comic strip, “Johnny Wise.” The same year he was hired away by the New York Journal as their sports cartoonist, reporter and sportswriter.
He quickly developed a reputation as an authority on the sport of boxing. He covered the 1910 Jeffries vs. Johnson heavyweight title bout and even sparred with the “Barbados Demon” Joe Walcott to better understand a boxer's experiences inside the ring. His sketches and ringside reports were widely syndicated and highly anticipated by fight aficionados. Coupled with his series “Indoor Sports” and “Outdoor Sports” TAD became an extremely popular figure with sports fans and attracted a tremendous national audience in an era before television. TAD also is credited with creating and/or popularizing expressions in American slang such as “dumbbell”, “for crying out loud”, “cat's meow” and “as busy as a one-armed paperhanger.”
When his health began to deteriorate in the early 1920s, Dorgan retired. He died of heart disease on May 2, 1929.
Born: April 29, 1877
Died: May 2, 1929