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Andy Donato

Andy Donato Photo

Andy Donato was born in 1937, he is the editorial cartoonist with the Toronto Sun. He was born in Toronto into a family of Italian origins. He graduated from Dan forth Tech and initially worked as a graphic artist with Eaton’s department stores. He became an artist with the Toronto Telegram in 1961 and remained there until he joined the Sun for its first issue in November 1971.

Andy Donato
Andy Donato

He has been an art director and part-time editorial/political cartoonist with the paper chain since and is best known for the signature bird that appears in his cartoons. He spends three months a year making fine art paintings in Savannah, Georgia.

Andy Donato Personal Life 

Donato was born in Scarborough, Ontario, to an Italian Canadian family. He graduated from Dan forth Collegiate and Technical Institute in 1955 and worked at Eaton’s as a layout artist. He joined the Toronto Telegram in 1961, working as a graphic artist in the promotion department.

Andy Donato
Andy Donato

Andy Donato Career life 

In 1968, he was appointed art director and began cartooning on a part-time basis. After The Telegram folded in 1971, he joined The Toronto Sun. In 1974, he started cartooning full-time. In 1985 and 1986, he served as president of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists.

He is well known among Sun readers for his signature image of a bird, “Donato’s bird.”Finding the bird, lost in the newspaper, has been a common device in Sun promotions through the years.

Cartoon by Andy Donato
Cartoon by Andy Donato

Some of his most famous work was done when Pierre Elliott Trudeau was Prime Minister and Joe Clark was a leader of the official opposition. As the two leaders battled it out, Donato lampooned both of them extensively. For years, Joe Clark was drawn wearing children’s mittens(attached to his suit with strings), a reference to the time his luggage went missing on a trip to Israel. The final cartoon of the series appeared after Trudeau’s airplane was hit by a bus while on the tarmac. It showed a puzzled Trudeau staring at the bus while one of his aides held up Clark’s mittens and said: “We don’t know who the driver was, but we found his mittens.”

Cartoon by Andy Donato
Cartoon by Andy Donato

Donato’s most famous cartoon, perhaps, was a blank cell titled “Canada’s foreign ownership policy” – a parody of Canada’s lack of controls over foreign ownership of Canadian companies.

Although Donato’s work is mostly praised, he was criticized when his cartoon comparing David Miller with Adolf Hitler was published after Miller refused to allow a debate on Chief Julian Fantino’s contract renewal.

Cartoon by Andy Donato
Cartoon by Andy Donato

It is said that many Canadian politicians consider it an honor if Donato pillories them. When he drew a picture of Liberal MP Carolyn Parrish with both feet stuck in her mouth -Parrish requested the original drawing. Other politicians have done the same, many times. According to his friends, Donato’s philosophy was: “The first time any politician is targeted, he, or she, gets the original drawing on request.”

Donato formally retired from the Sun in 1997 but continues to draw for the Sun chain on a contract basis that pays him roughly $400 a cartoon.

 

Donato had a dispute with the Canada Revenue Agency over how he was donating some of his works to certain educational institutions in 1999 and 2001. He was partially successful in his appeal to the Tax Court of Canada and was awarded costs in the case. The judgment was sustained on appeal to the Federal Court of Appeal.

Cartoon by Andy Donato
Cartoon by Andy Donato

Donato is also a landscape artist working in a style he calls “bent realism”.His paintings mostly depict urban landscapes, particularly Toronto neighborhoods. He has been the subject of exhibitions in Toronto, New York City, London, and Johannesburg featuring his paintings from 1965 to present.

Cartoon by Andy Donato
Cartoon by Andy Donato

Quotes

“A cartoonist is like a blind javelin thrower at the Olympics. He’s not too accurate, but he sure gets the attention of the spectators.”

 

Awards

He has won several awards for cartooning and was president of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists in 1985 and 1986.

Andy Donato
Andy Donato

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Written by Sharmin haque prima

Dr. Sharmin Haque Prima is a dental surgeon. She has done BDS in 2015. She is now doing a master’s of public health at North South University.

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