Mr. Martin, whose last cartoon for The New Yorker appeared in 1999, died on June 30 in Newtown, Pa. He was 94.
His daughter Jane Read Martin confirmed his death.
in loving memory of
Henry Martin, Wry New Yorker Cartoonist. He Is Dead at 94
He defined his artistic mission as finding humor in the mundane and everyday — and he found it for 35 years. pic.twitter.com/yX6TBcD93V
— Christos Xanthakis (@ChristosXanthak) July 8, 2020
An affable, courteous man who retained his Kentucky accent long after he moved north, Mr. Martin defined his artistic mission as finding humor in the mundane and everyday.
“The cartoonist’s job is to observe, toss the observations about in a basket of happy insanity and report the results with an economy of line and a spare sprinkling of words,” he wrote in the brochure to a cartoon exhibition he curated in 1985 to benefit the McCarter Theater, on the campus of Princeton University.
Michael Maslin, the New Yorker contributor behind Ink Spill, a blog about the magazine’s cartoonists, praised Mr. Martin in an email for his “precision” and for his “clean, crisp lines and wash, and clean, crisp captions.”
“When I picture a Henry Martin cartoon,” Mr. Maslin added, “I picture a man and woman talking and saying something succinctly funny. No overdrawn environment, no iffy wording in the caption.”
Henry Read Martin was born on July 15, 1925, in Louisville, Ky. His father, Lyman, was the president of the Mengel Company, a box and furniture manufacturer. His mother, Adele (Read) Martin, was a homemaker involved in fund-raising and alumni activities at Centre College in Danville, Ky., her alma mater. She also provided a stained-glass window to the student center’s chapel.
By 4, Henry loved to draw; by 15, he knew he wanted to make it a career.