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Verdugo Views: Iowa-bred caricaturist drew from his roots

June 22, 2012|By Katherine Yamada
  • Legory O'Loughlin, laughs as his son, Tom, checks out the beard he is growing in anticipation of the citys celebration of fifty years of city hood in 1956.
Legory O'Loughlin, laughs as his son, Tom, checks… (Courtesy of Tom…)

When Legory O’Loughlin graduated from his Iowa high school in 1920, he received an unusual graduation gift, a trip to California. While here, he was attracted by the state’s booming potential and three years later he came back to stay. ”I migrated to California where the streets were paved with gold in 1923,” he wrote in a 1984 autobiography.

“His father was disappointed, to put it mildly, that he wanted to come west,” said his son, Tom, in a recent email interview.

O’Loughlin attended the University of Southern California and found a job as a window trimmer at Woolworths. A year later, with a new job staffing the desk at the San Pedro YMCA, he went back to his hometown to marry his high school sweetheart, Mildred Mauthe, who was working as an art supervisor in the Charles City, Iowa, schools.

A 1926 YMCA newsletter profiled him thusly: ``Legory hailed from Washington, Iowa that laid claim to the ‘cleanest city in the states.’ Gory must have helped to make it such, for he looks the part of a straight shooter.’’

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“Even while on the farm he could hardly leave his pencil and paper long enough to feed the cows and drive the geese to water. Tho he did well in school he has to date 16,746 caricatures to his credit.”

The O’Loughlin family, including Tom and his younger sister Lois, moved to Thompson Avenue in northwest Glendale in 1940. Mildred went to work at Duncan’s Variety Store in Kenneth Village and was employed there for 38 years.

During the war, O’Loughlin worked as an inspector at Plumb Tool Company in Los Angeles. He also put his training in merchandising and public relations to work at a cartoon company (Warner Bros.), Goodwill Industries and as Director of Camarillo State Hospital.

The family joined First Baptist Church of Glendale when they first arrived, then went to Glendale Presbyterian Church in 1944.

“Gory, as his friends called him, was interested in so many aspects of life that his avocations became his joy,” his daughter, Lois O’Loughlin Johnson, wrote after his death in 1992. While his earliest interest was caricatures, he had many others, such as graphoanalysis. “He analyzed handwriting most of his adult life — to better understand people.”

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