Random Lengths News
Editorial Cartoonist Ann Cleaves
(July 26, 1945 to July 7, 2022)
Ann Elspeth Whitney was born in Schenectady, New York to Elspeth Paterson Whitney and Douglas Brainard Whitney.
As a child, Ann recalled in an interview with a fellow cartoonist, she spent summers at an interracial church camp founded during the Great Depression. During college in the 1960s, curious about the civil rights movement, she spent a semester at Tougaloo College near Jackson, Miss. Later she taught in a summer program on the South Side of Chicago.
Ann was an award winning cartoonist whose cartoons appeared in the Palisadian Post (Pacific Palisades ), Random Lengths News and La Prensa
in San Diego. Her cartoons have also appeared in The Washington Post National Weekly Edition, the Pasadena Star News and the Temple (Texas) and the Daily Telegram. Several of Ann’s cartoons won first place awards from the California Newspaper Publishers Association. In 2000, she illustrated the best selling book Oh No! Not Another Problem.
She also illustrated a book on real estate myths. Her cartoons appeared in the book Best Editorial Cartoons of the Year since 1993. They also appeared in several textbooks.
Ann’s cartoons were included in a show about 9/11 at the Impolitic Gallery in Santa Monica. Her cartoons were also included in the USA Patriot Art show in Washington, D.C. in 2002 and in the exhibition Target: California at the California History Museum in Sacramento in 2005.
A graduate of Brown University, Ann also studied art at Rhode Island School of Design, The Art Institute in San Miguel Allende, Mexico, and the University of Houston. She began cartooning as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Liberia. Then, as a volunteer in Fiji she illustrated schoolbooks for the Fiji Ministry of Education.
Ann worked in her studio at Angels Gate Cultural Center for more than 15 years as a full time cartoonist.
Ann lived with her husband Courtland in Los Angeles where she taught high school subjects in the adult division of the Los Angeles School District from 1988 to 2004. In 2018, Ann was voted to the Board of Directors for the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists.
Ann is survived by her husband of 53 years, Courtland, and her brothers, Bill of Portland, Ore., John of Colorado Springs and niece Allison Freeman of Seattle, Wash.