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Johnny Gruelle Bibliography Creator

Johnny Gruelle (December 24, 1880 – January 9, 1938) was an American artist, political cartoonist, children's book author, comics authors, and illustrator, and songwriter. He is known as the creator of Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy.


John Barton Gruelle was born in Arcola, Illinois, on December 24, 1880.[1] A the age of two, he moved with his family to Indianapolis, Indiana,[2] where his father, Richard Gruelle, who was a painter, became associated with the Hoosier Group of painters. Richard Gruelle’s friends included poet James Whitcomb Riley, whose poems “The Elf-Child”, later titled “Little Orphant Annie” (1885) and "The Raggedy Man" (1888), would form the basis for Johnny Gruelle's naming of Raggedy Ann.[2]

John Gruelle's cartoons first appeared in print in the Indianapolis Star in 1905.[3] From 1906 to 1911, his cartooning work appeared in many newspapers usually signed as Grue, including The Toledo News-Bee,[4]The Pittsburgh Press,[5]The Tacoma Times,[6] and The Spokane Press.[7]

After he beat out 1,500 entrants to win a cartooning contest sponsored in 1911 by The New York Herald, Gruelle created Mr. Twee Deedle, which was in print from that year to at least 1914.[8]

Gruelle biographer Patricia Hall notes that according to oft-repeated myth, Gruelle's daughter Marcella brought from her grandmother's attic a faceless doll on which the artist drew a face, and that Gruelle suggested that Marcella's grandmother sew a shoe button for a missing eye. He then combined the names of two James Whitcomb Riley poems, "The Raggedy Man" and "Little Orphant Annie" and suggested calling the doll Raggedy Ann. Hall says the date of this supposed occurrence is given as early as 1900 and as late as 1914, with the locale variously given as suburban Indianapolis, Indiana, downtown Cleveland, Ohio, or rural Connecticut. In reality, as Gruelle's wife Myrtle told Hall, it was Gruelle who retrieved a long-forgotten, homemade rag doll from the attic of his parents' Indianapolis home sometime around the turn of the 20th century. As Myrtle Gruelle recalled, "There was something he wanted from the attic. While he was rummaging around for it, he found an old rag doll his mother had made for his sister. He said then that the doll would make a good story."[9]

The couple's daughter, Marcella, had not yet been born when Gruelle found the doll, Myrtle Gruelle continued. Johnny Gruelle "kept [the doll] in his mind until we had Marcella. He remembered it when he saw her play [with] dolls. ... He wrote the stories around some of the things she did. He used to get ideas from watching her."[9]

Additionally, Hall notes, Marcella died at age 13 from an infected vaccination, not from the side effects of the vaccination itself, and Gruelle did not then create the limp Raggedy Ann doll as a tribute to his lifeless daughter, as another myth states. Gruelle's patent application for the Raggedy Ann doll was already in progress, and the artist received final approval by the U.S. Patent office the same month as Marcella's death.[9] Regardless, some journalistic sources repeat the myth.[10]

In 1915, Gruelle patented and trademarked the design and name.[11] The U.S. Patent D47,789 was dated September 7, 1915. Gruelle began approaching publishers and in 1918, the P. F. Volland Company published Raggedy Ann Stories, promoting it with a Raggedy Ann doll.[11] Both became major successes.[12] In 1920, Gruelle introduced Raggedy Ann's brother, the mischievous and adventuresome Raggedy Andy, in the book Raggedy Andy Stories.[13] Gruelle was awarded a patent for a stuffed animal in 1921 U.S. Patent D59,553.

Gruelle's "Raggedy Ann's Sunny Songs" was set to music by William H. Woodin. One of Gruelle's characters is Little Wooden Willie, a reference to Will Woodin.[14]

Gruelle lived in the Silvermine section of New Canaan, Connecticut, where the dolls were first mass-produced and later moved his home and company to neighboring Wilton, Connecticut.[citation needed] Gruelle spent a year in Ashland, Oregon, from 1923 to 1924.[15] He died at home in Miami Springs, Florida, on January 9, 1938, of heart failure, two weeks after his 57th birthday.[16]

On November 27, 1929, the New York Herald Tribune Syndicate launched Brutus, a domestic-comedy comic strip with elements of fantasy, on which Gruelle worked until his death[17].


As author and illustrator[edit]

  • All About Cinderella (1916), republished as Cinderella (2012)
  • My Very Own Fairy Stories[18] (1917), republished as Raggedy Ann's Fairy Stories
  • Raggedy Ann Stories[19] (1918)
  • Friendly Fairies[20] (1919)
  • Little Sunny Stories (1919)
  • Raggedy Andy Stories[21] (1920)
  • The Little Brown Bear (1920)[this quote needs a citation]
  • Orphant Annie[22] (1921)
  • Eddie Elephant (1921)
  • Johnny Mouse and the Wishing Stick (1922), republished as Adventures of Johnny Mouse (2012)
  • The Magical Land of Noom (1922)
  • Raggedy Ann and Andy and the Camel with the Wrinkled Knees (1924)
  • Wishing Pebble (1925)
  • Beloved Belindy (1926)
  • Marcella - A Raggedy Ann Story - Marcella Stories (1929)
  • Raggedy Ann's Magical Wishes (Book is undated)
  • My Fairy Stories (2012), a collection of stories from My Very Own Fairy Stories
  • Friendly Gnomes (2012), a collection of stories from Friendly Fairies

As illustrator[edit]

  • Grimm's Fairy Tales[23] (1914)
  • Nobody's Boy[24] (1916)
  • All About Hansel and Grethel (1917), republished as Hansel and Gretel (2012)
  • All About the Little Small Red Hen[25] (1917)
  • Sunny Bunny by Nina Wilcox Putnam (1918)
  • The Bam Bam Clock by J.P. McEvoy (1920)
  • Quacky Doodles' and Danny Daddles' Book (1916)[26]


  1. ^Hall, Patricia (1993). Johnny Gruelle, Creator of Raggedy Ann and Andy. Pelican Publishing. pp. 25–26. ISBN 978-0882899084. 
  2. ^ abKsander, Yaël (April 11, 2011). "Raggedy Ann's Hoosier Pedigree". Indiana Public Media / The Trustees of Indiana University. Archived from the original on April 24, 2011. Retrieved October 29, 2015. 
  3. ^Hall, p. 40
  4. ^"All Aboard the Water Wagon". The Toledo News-Bee. January 1, 1907. p. 1. 
  5. ^"The World, the Flesh, and the Baby". Pittsburg Press. November 29, 1909. p. 10. 
  6. ^"The Day of All Fools". The Tacoma Times. April 1, 1909. p. 1. 
  7. ^"A Few More Weeks And Then". The Spokane Press. March 6, 1910. p. 16. 
  8. ^Mr. Twee Deedle at Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on September 30, 2015.
  9. ^ abcHall, Patricia (1999). "Raggedy Ann and Andy: History and Legend". Archived from the original on September 7, 2015. Retrieved November 23, 2015. 
  10. ^For example, Oshinsky, David (February 20, 2015). "The Return of the Vaccine Wars". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on February 21, 2015. Retrieved November 23, 2015.  
  11. ^ abHall, Patricia (1999). "Johnny Gruelle Inspired Illustrator". Archived from the original on September 10, 2015. Retrieved October 29, 2015. 
  12. ^"New Raggedy Ann Causing a Stir : It's an Open-and-Shut Case for the Creators' Family - Los Angeles Times". 1987-11-26. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  13. ^"Raggedy History". Simon & Schuster. Archived from the original on August 17, 2004. 
  14. ^Wayne Homren (2007-12-16). "William H. Woodin'S Political Journey And Musical Talent". Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  15. ^"Raggedy Ann in Ashland by Dawna Curler". As It Was Master Script List, Southern Oregon Historical Society. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved November 5, 2008. 
  16. ^"John Gruelle Dead; Cartoonist, Writer; Creator of Comic Strip 'Brutus' Was on The Herald Tribune - Wrote Children's Books". The New York Times. Associated Press. January 10, 1938. Retrieved October 30, 2015.  Abstract; full article requires subscription.
  17. ^Brutus at Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on February 22, 2018.
  18. ^My Very Own Fairy Stories at Internet Archive
  19. ^"Raggedy Ann Stories by Johnny Gruelle - Free Ebook". 2006-04-17. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  20. ^"Friendly Fairies by Johnny Gruelle - Free Ebook". 2004-02-01. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  21. ^"Raggedy Andy Stories by Johnny Gruelle - Free Ebook". 2005-12-22. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  22. ^Orphant Annie Story Book - Google Boeken. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  23. ^"Grimm's Fairy Stories by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm - Free Ebook". 2004-02-01. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  24. ^"Nobody's Boy by Hector Malot - Free Ebook". 2008-04-19. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  25. ^"All About the Little Small Red Hen by Anonymous - Free Ebook". 2008-05-30. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  26. ^Quacky Doodles and Danny Daddles at Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on September 30, 2015.

External links[edit]

The titular character Sally Migrundy from the anthology Friendly Fairies (1919)

The first complete source for collectors and researchers of Gruelle memorabilia. This illustrated biography of an American illustrator, children�s author, and doll and toy designer chronicles Gruelle�s life, exploring how Raggedy Ann and Andy evolved over the years. Includes rare and previously unpublished photographs.

About the Author:

Patricia Hall has written and lectured extensively on Johnny Gruelle and his contributions to American culture. Her collection of Gruelle’s books, dolls, correspondence, original artwork, business records, and photographs is one of the most comprehensive in the world. Many of these photographs appear in Raggedy Ann and More: Johnny Gruelle’s Dolls and Merchandise. Hall has also written an illustrated biography, Johnny Gruelle, Creator of Raggedy Ann and Andy, published by Pelican.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.