William Douglas "Doug" Smith was born in South Shields, Tyne and Wear, on 29 October 1916. His father, Allison Hart Smith, was an employee of the fruit wholesalers Gilroy's - whose family included the cartoonist John Gilroy. After attending Westoe Secondary School, South Shields, Smith joined the Merchant Navy aged sixteen.
A self-taught artist, Smith sold his first cartoon to the Shipbuilding & Shipping Record in 1936. After serving in the Merchant Navy during the Second World War he joined the Shields Gazette as a staff artist and cartoonist in 1945, creating "Brassie", a daily strip about a naval cadet. In 1950 he moved to the Newcastle Evening Chronicle, where colleagues included Angus McGill, broadcaster Harold Williamson and film critic Tom Bergman. He drew the front-page pocket cartoon "Smile with Smith" and in October 1960 moved to London to join the Evening News as Sports Cartoonist, remaining with the paper until his death.
Smith also contributed to Saturday Evening Post and others, and from 1950 onwards travelled widely in the UK and USA with his 'Quick on the Draw' illustrated lecture tours. Most of his work was in pen and ink on card or paper. He was the father of the journalist Valerie Grove. Doug Smith died of a heart attack in Harefield Hospital, London, on 22 August 1973 aged fifty-six.
- CSCC Archive, "Daily Mail" memo signed H.S. Stovold, 15 February 1977.
- Mark Bryant Dictionary of Twentieth-Century British Cartoonists and Caricaturists (Ashgate, Aldershot, 2000), p.210.
strip cuttings, 'The Nitelys' (1967 - 71)
60s; 70s (1967 - 71)back to top