Thomas Nast – 1840-1902
Born in Bavaria, Nast immigrated to the United States as a boy of six and, at 15, became an artist for Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper. He depicted stirring action scenes in the Civil War (Lincoln called him “our best recruiting sergeant”), but was best known for his scathing political cartoons attacking William M. “Boss” Tweed, the corrupt political leader of New York’s Tammany Hall in the 1870s. Thanks largely to Nast, Tammany collapsed. Nast also created the donkey and elephant that became the enduring emblems of the Democratic and Republican parties.