Monday, April 11, 2016

William Hamilton 1939 - 2016

New Yorker cartoonist and writer William Hamilton died Friday, April 8, 2016. The cause of death was a car crash near his Lexington, KY home. He was 76.

From SFGate:
"His death was confirmed by his wife, Lucy Hamilton. She said her husband had driven through a stop sign near their home and that his car was struck by a pickup truck. 'I don’t know if he had a malaise or was distracted,' she said, 'but it just happened like that.'"
A New Yorker contributor since 1965, his illustrative cartoons lampooned the monied urban classes. Town and Country, Newsweek and The New York Observer were among his clients.

He received his first rejection at the age of twelve, after he sent his first cartoon to A-list cartoon market The Saturday Evening Post. Like so many cartoonisst, drawing was always a part of his life.

The New York Times: 
William Hamilton was born on June 2, 1939, in Palo Alto, Calif., the son of Alexander Hamilton and the former Ellen Ballentine. He grew up on a family estate in St. Helena, Calif., in Napa County.

“We lived on one of those dwindling trust funds,” he once said, “with a hint of money in the past, but not much in the present.”

He went to Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., and Yale, from which he graduated in 1962. He served in Alaska with the Army from 1963 to 1965.

Mr. Hamilton’s first two marriages ended in divorce. He married Lucy Young Boutin in 2003. In addition to her and his daughter, his immediate survivors include a son, Gilliam; a sister, Diana Stockton; a brother, Alexander; and two grandchildren.

It was in the 1960s, when he was stationed at Port Richardson, Alaska in the US Army, that Mr. Hamilton began submitting his cartoons to magazines. When his army hitch was over, he went to NYC. He met John Huston, and accompanied the filmmaker to Rome as his assistant on the film "Reflections in a Golden Eye" (1966) which starred Marlon Brando and Elizabeth Taylor.

According to Editor and Publisher, by 1973 he had already written a couple of novels and a screenplay.

"[William Hamilton] finds fiction writing and cartooning compatible with "one a relief from the other." However, writing in his opinion is taxing —'more like work." It's not the fun that cartooning is, but he's determined to keep at it.

"Drawing, he says, is genuine fun when going well. 'You do not involve yourself as much when drawing. Some distance is required from drawing,' meaning that any self-consciousness ' can interfere. 'Cartoons demand relaxation and ease; you can't dredge them out or they won't come.'"
SFGate: Lucy Hamilton said donations in her husband’s name could be made to the nonprofit American Agora Foundation.


Lexington, KY WKYT report "One person killed in crash on Old Richmond Road"

Related: 1973 New Yorker Cartoonist William Hamilton Interview

Below: Mr. Hamilton in 1975:

No comments: