David Thomas Gaskill was born in Liverpool on 27 May 1939, the son of Ernest Gaskill, a sergeant in the Royal Air Force. Gaskill wanted to be a commercial artist, but in 1952 a school careers advisor steered him towards an engineering apprenticeship, that would lead to work as an engineering draftsman. Gaskill worked first in Britain, where in 1962 he also began two years of evening classes at Stockport College, Cheshire. He then worked as an engineering and design draftsman in Germany and South Africa.
Gaskill’s first published cartoon appeared in the letters column of the Manchester Evening News in 1971, but he did not become a full-time cartoonist and illustrator until 1973, by which time he was living in South Africa. He then spent twelve years working as editorial cartoonist for the Sunday Express, Citizen, Star, Financial Mail, Johannesburg Sunday Times and Rand Daily Mail, as well as doing work for magazines, advertising agencies, and television - where he was resident cartoonist on the series “Take My Word.”
In 1986 Gaskill was offered work on the West Australian in Perth, and moved to Australia, where he also contributed to the Business Daily in Melbourne, and sent cartoons to the Newsof the World in London. In 1987 Gaskill moved to New Zealand to work for the New Zealand Herald, whose regular cartoonist, Gordon Minhinnick, was on the verge of retirement. Later that year Gaskill returned to England, where in January 1988 he became editorial cartoonist on Rupert Murdoch’s Today newspaper, taking over from Kevin Kallaugher.
When Margaret Thatcher lost the Conservative leadership election in 1990, Gaskill commented that he did not mind the blandness of her successor, John Major, and that "personally I will miss Denis more than Mrs Thatcher." Gaskill remained at Today until the paper ceased publication in 1995. He then worked briefly for the Mail on Sunday, but in 1996 moved to Murdoch’s Sun newspaper, where Rick Brookes had been dropped as editorial cartoonist.
Gaskill remained as the Sun’s editorial cartoonist until 2003 - being replaced by Bill Caldwell, but he continued illustrating Richard Littlejohn’s Sun column for a further two years. After leaving the Sun Gaskill spent four years in Scotland, working for the Sunday Mail, before returning to England to live. Gaskill has also worked for the Independent on Sunday, and the Church Times, and in 2009 published his first graphic novel, "Moll Perkins in America".
• Nick Nuttall "Major is a problem - after the glasses and a suit there is very little else", The Times, 28 November 1990.
• Mark Bryant Dictionary of Twentieth-Century British Cartoonists and Caricaturists (Ashgate, Aldershot, 2000), pp.85-6.
• Dave Gaskill's websites at www.davegaskill.demon.co.uk and davegaskill.com