More about New Yorker cartoonist Al Ross

Here’s a photo of legendary cartoonist Al Ross taken in September 2009, when he was 97 years old. He celebrated his 98th birthday on October 19th. That’s him on the right. The photo was taken by his son, Arlen, who also informed me (in a comment, below) that the man with his arms around Al Ross is Arlen’s ex-father-in law.


My thanks to Dave Colombo, a collector of cartoon and comic art, for letting me know about this photo. It was posted by Arlen Ross on his blog, and you can read more about both father and son, and their musical connection, on his blog.

Dave Colombo also told me that he recently acquired this original strip drawn by Al Ross, probably from the 1940’s or 1950’s.


It was of particular interest to me because I didn’t realize that Al Ross ever tackled a comic strip — I thought of him only as a single-panel gag cartoonist.

Dave says he would love to find out if the strip was ever published, and where.

So a belated Happy 98th Birthday to you, Al Ross!


  1. comment title
    Thanks for this, Eli. I am a fan of Al Ross’ cartoons and to not only get to see a photo of the man himself, but also read about the encouragement of a father to a son (at Arlen’s blog — a heartwarming story) and then find out about this syndicated strip — well, WOW! You just made my holiday season!
    Belated Happy Birthday, Al Ross!

  2. comment title
    Hey! Great piece about my dad, Al Ross, but the man on his right is my ex-father in law…I, Arlen Roth, his son, TOOK that pic, and I am much younger than that!! Thanks so much!

  3. comment title
    Oops — sorry for the mix-up, and thanks for the correction. I guess one should never assume anything, but that’s exactly what I did.

  4. comment title
    I am looking for a copy of two cartoons I believe you did in Nov ’09. One: “The light at the end of the Tunnel” two: “Now Leaving Iraq” again Nov ’09.
    If you have them on your web site, where would that be. If not yours sorry to bother you. Looked around your site and I did like the cartoons listed there.

  5. comment title
    Not mine, Fletch. I think you’re looking for Ed Stein, who is an editorial cartoonist. Try googling his name and you should get information on how to contact him.

  6. comment title
    Dear Al, may I call you Al? discovered your book ‘Cartooning Fundamentals’ in the library in London UK. Knock out what can I say it had everything that a drawing student wanted, and showed things in such clarity. It was then stolen from the library! For decade I tried to get hold of it and asked people to get it for endless birthdays, with no luck. Out of print as far as the UK is concerned. Not until the internet was invented did manage to get hold of a copy again from the USA. Now I have 5 just in case I lose one. Why dont you do a reprint and publish it again. It will piss anything we have here. David Grant UK

  7. comment title
    Can you help me locate an Al Ross cartoon called The Ultimate Evolution, showing a human figurer emerging from the sea only to return to it as a yachtsman.
    Thanks very much.
    John Gillis, Historian

  8. comment title
    as a personal friend of the Roth family I can assure you that is Al in the picture but that is certainly not his incredible musician son Arlen you can see pictures of him at nor is it his very famous painter son David Roth who is quite handsome in a brooding noir way Ross was Al’s nom de plume. i can tell you having contact with the Roth family was one of the best things that ever happened to me . It gave me courage and insight to what creativity really meant and how to use it .

  9. comment title
    Thanks for this note, Bill. Arlen Roth himself cleared up the mystery of who is in the photo with Al Ross. Arlen’s comment is the second one, above. To repeat what he said, the guy on the left side of the photo is Arlen Roth’s ex-father-in-law — and Arlen was the one who took the photo.

  10. comment title
    Here’s a short little piece NY1 TV did on my Dad, Al Ross on his 100th Birthday! Enjoy!rn

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Welcome to the Eli Stein Cartoon archive. To begin, read my introduction and personal notes, and then please look at the cartoons, which are categorized by either decade, publication name or topic. I’ve included some personal comments, memories and photos below many of the cartoons. I’ll be adding cartoons, memories and photos ad infinitum. Remember, your comments are appreciated (just click on the “comment” link at the bottom of each post).