Class of 1952
Mort Gerberg’s clever cartoons and sharp insights have been making the world laugh for more than half a century. His cartooning career began on the City College downtown campus, now known as Baruch College, when he convinced the editor of The Ticker, Ralph Ginzburg, to include cartoons. The decision was a wise one. Gerberg created a panel entitled “City Snickers,” which became a must-read.
Since his Brooklyn upbringing and his City College days, Gerberg has enjoyed a rich and varied career. He flirted with advertising before committing to his passion and living the precarious life of a freelance cartoonist. His work has appeared regularly in such publications as The New Yorker, Playboy, the Harvard Business Review and Publishers Weekly, and online on The Huffington Post.
A star among his peers, he was voted Best Magazine Cartoonist of 2008 by the National Cartoonists Society, the international organization for professional cartoonists. Besides his magazine work, he has created several nationally syndicated newspaper comic strips and has written, edited or illustrated more than 40 books for adults and children. In 2004, he was honored by City College with a Townsend Harris Medal.
He is the editor of “Last Laughs: Cartoons About Aging, Retirement . . . and the Great Beyond,” a hardcover collection by 26 of The New Yorker’s top cartoonists assembled by Gerberg. It was published in 2008 by Scribner. Among his other popular books are “Joy in Mudville: The Big Book of Baseball Humor,” co-edited by Dick Schaap, and the best-selling “More Spaghetti, I Say,” which has sold more than 2.5 million copies. The book he says he is proudest of is “Cartooning: The Art and the Business,” which has been the leading instructional/reference work in the field since first published in 1983. It was revised in 1989.
His comic strip “Koky,” co-created and written by Richard O’Brien, was syndicated from 1979 to 1981 by the Chicago Tribune-New York News Syndicate. Gerberg says it was one of the first strips based on the concept of a housewife who also pursued a professional career. In 2007, Ramble House collected the strip’s entire run and produced two books, one of the daily strips, the other of the Sunday material. He also wrote and drew “Hang In There,” a daily gag panel dealing with the financial challenges in everyday business and personal life, also distributed by the Chicago Tribune-New York News Syndicate, and “There Oughtta Be a Law,” an updated version of the classic two-panel cartoon about things people did that annoyed other people. It was syndicated by United Media.
Gerberg has written, drawn and performed on television and appeared in the Shari Lewis home video “Lamb Chop in the Land of No Manners.” He taught cartooning at the Parsons School of Design, including an online class through the New School Distance Learning Program.
His corporate clients have included Fidelity Investments, Epson, Motorola, John Hancock and Brooks Brothers, and he has created cartoons and humor writing as part of numerous advertising and public relations campaigns. Gerberg is also a popular public speaker, particularly about creativity and aging.