Veteran magazine cartoonist Aaron Bacal died Tuesday at the Richmond University Medical Center in West Brighton, NY. He was 76 years old.
His clients included The New Yorker, Barron's, The Wall Street Journal and many others.
From his bio page at BacallCartoons:
"I always loved cartoons. As a kid I would go into apartment building basements and rip out cartoons from bundled Look, Saturday Evening Post and New Yorker magazines left near the incinerator. I didn't own a scissor but I would take the pages to school and there I would cut them out neatly. I got an allowance of ten cents a week which I used to purchase a pad at Woolworth, to practice my drawing.
Aaron Bacal (he changed his name when signing his cartoons, adding an extra "L" to his last name) was born in Bensonhurst, then moved to Flatbush. He made his home in Staten Island about 40 years ago.
He was awarded a full scholarship at the City College of New York, where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in chemistry. He then attended NYU. Mr. Bacal earned two Master's Degrees, one in advanced organic chemistry and another in business administration. He earned these degrees at night school while working as a pharmaceutical research chemist by day.
He worked as an antibiotic research chemist. He "retired" in 1956, becoming a chemistry teacher at Clara Barton High School in Brooklyn. It was a job he held for 27 years.
During this time he was a curriculum coordinator for the former city Board of Education, developing science programs in health-related professions. He also learned computer software and Web applications to create at-home courses for students.
From Aaron Bacall's bio:
"At night I worked as a humor writer for print media, for corporate communications and for comedians and continued to sell my cartoons to many publications. I now sell cartoons to most national magazines and I create cartoons and concepts, for corporate communications, for several multinational corporations. I hope you like my work. Oh, and let's not forget that I taught courses, chemistry, pathology, anatomy and physiology, and medical terminology, in college and also created one of the first online interactive courses in medical billing and coding for a university program. How did I do that? I taught myself computer programming and medical billing/coding then interviewed and got the job. This is a wonderful country. If you apply all your talent and love learning, you will be successful."
"'He had an unlimited supply of cartoons in him,' said his wife, the former Linda Gold. 'It was a gift, he was a natural cartoonist.'
The couple met at a Jewish community house dance in Brooklyn, and it was love at first sight, she said with a laugh, 'He was a chemist and we had chemistry.' They remained in love throughout their 50 years of marriage, celebrating their anniversary recently with a grand party.
Mr. Bacal's favorite pastime, of course, was creating cartoons. He also loved having his family around him and relished being a grandfather and an uncle to his nieces and nephew.
Surviving, along with his wife, Linda, are his son, Darron; his brother, Paul; his sister, Evelyn Shustack, and two grandchildren.