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Biography

Tony Grogan is a cartoonist, illustrator and artist living in Cape Town.

One of the doyen’s of South African cartooning, he is the longest serving editorial cartoonist of the Cape Times having joined that newspaper in 1974. He has also done periods of service for the Sunday Times and Sunday Independent - the latter for twelve years. He presently does the daily front page quip for the Cape Times, titled “Crack of Dawn” which also features in the Natal Mercury. His work has also been published widely in newspapers abroad.

As editorial cartoonist he has pilloried the social and political foibles of our times during a crucial period of South African history. Of his cartoons, veteran journalist, Stanley Uys, said , ”Tony Grogan has the rare ability to make people laugh every day of the year , whether it be his page one quip of the major cartoon of the leader page, his cartoon offerings are a daily delight. Helen Suzman said ,”Grogan’s cartoons have brought both mirth and fury into the dreary area of politics in South Africa. His brilliant satire has sharpened public opinion of contemporary events and has help us laugh at ourselves.” And Nobel laureate ,Archbishop Desmond Tutu commented, “His cartoons have the charming quality that makes you guffaw delightedly and say ’Of course’ even when you happened to be the butt of his mirth.”

Tony Grogan is also an illustrator of note having illustrated many books, both children’s and adult. In addition he has authored seven of his own books of water colours and drawings illustrating his travels to different parts of Southern Africa. These books received critical acclaim and have become valued items of Africana.

His paintings and drawings in a variety of media have been exhibited in many solo exhibitions and are included in important private collections in South Africa and abroad.

As editorial cartoonist for the Cape Times since 1974, and also for periods with the Sunday Times and Sunday Independent, Tony Grogan has chronicled a watershed period of South African history, from the oppressive and turbulent apartheid era to liberation and its subsequent developments. His cartoons record the vital issues and crucial events which marked the country’s passage from white minority rule to multi-party democracy. Looking through his collection of published cartoons is to relive this history as they capture in a special way the mood, the emotion and the ambience of the time. The story is not over and he continues to comment on the problems and foibles of the country in his daily front page quip, ‘Crack of Dawn’, in the Cape Times which also appears in the Natal Mercury.

Several collections of his cartoons and satirical comment have been published and his cartoons have been republished in numerous publications –biographic, historical and academic.

A complete record of Tony Grogan's published cartoons since joining the Cape Times will be housed in the University of Cape Town archive with the larger part of the collection of original cartoons. These will be available for research or publication on agreed terms.

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