Richard Outcault – 1863-1928
Outcault was a popular illustrator who contributed to humor magazines in the late 19th century. When Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World debuted its colorreproduction press, Outcault’s drawing of a street urchin clad in a nightshirt was selected as the first color subject on February 16, 1896. The bright yellow nightshirt made such a sensation that the character was dubbed the “Yellow Kid” and became the basis of the first comic strip—soon a staple feature of American newspapers. Pulitzer’s rival, William Randolph Hearst, hired Outcault away from the World, initiating a bidding war for the cartoonist’s services. This highly publicized contest gave rise to the phrase “yellow journalism” to describe the sensational publishing practices of great rival papers vying for subscribers.