William Galbraith Crawford: Mormon Artist
William Galbraith Crawford, who signed his work “Galbraith” to avoid confusion with well-known newspaper cartoonist Bill Crawford, was a commercial artist and cartoonist who achieved national prominence. He also painted and sketched under “C. G.” and “Chairman.”
Crawford was born on January 21, 1894, in Salt Lake City. He studied art at Brigham Young University, the Art Students League in New York City, and the School of Art, Design in Los Angeles, and the University of Mexico. He also studied in France. He was able to work his way to New York by overseeing nineteen carloads of sheep from Salt Lake City to Kansas City, which earned him $80 for a return fare to Utah, but he instead went to New York.
Crawford became a lieutenant in the First Cavalry Division when he joined the Army to help subdue Pancho Villa. He was commissioned at the start of World War I when he went to artillery school. He later served in France in an air reconnaissance unit in the Army Air Corps.
From 1928 to 1944 he created posers for MGM movies for associate Hal Burrows. He drew cartoons for Harper’s Bazaar, Redbook, Vanity Fair, the Saturday Evening Post, Cosmopolitan, and the New Yorker. He took over the “Side Glances” comic panel from George Clark in 1939 and worked on it for two decades. His two daughters were often the inspiration for his cartoons, which often featured a baffled father. He believed in poking fun at himself, rather than others. He completed a book with text and drawings, but never published it.
Crawford died in California on September 13, 1978. He was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.