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 Ed Dodd

Ed Dodd

Birth
LaFayette, Walker County, Georgia, USA
Death 27 May 1991 (aged 88)
Gainesville, Hall County, Georgia, USA
Burial Sandy Springs, Fulton County, Georgia, USA
Plot Pine Hill Lot 16 B-3
Memorial ID 9668 · View Source
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Cartoonist. He is best remembered for his "Mark Trail" daily comic strip that began in April 1946 that featured a wildlife photographer and author, centering on environmental themes, and whose assignments inevitably lead to involvement in local environmental conflicts. The son of a minister, he went to work for Dan Beard, founder of the Boy Scouts of America, at the age of 16. He worked at Beard's camp in Pennsylvania for 13 summers, where he honed his writing and illustration skills under Beard's guidance. He then became a scoutmaster and the first paid Youth and Physical Education Director for the city of Gainesville, Georgia. After studying architecture at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia and at the Art Students League of New York in New York City, he purchased a ranch in Wyoming in 1926. In 1930, while working as a guide in the national parks, he created "Back Home Again," a moderately successful daily single-panel which included characters from Gainesville and North Georgia. The panel, about a hillbilly family, was distributed nationally by United Feature Syndicate until 1945. In April 1946 "Mark Trail" was distributed by The New York Post to 45 newspapers. Trail was a younger "alter ego" of Dodd, who was likewise a pipe-smoking outdoorsman and conservationist but footloose and free to travel to adventure. Trail owned a St. Bernard named Andy and lived (between travels) with Doc and Cherry Davis in Lost Forest. Likewise, Dodd had a St. Bernard named Andy and owned a home and studio (designed by Frank Lloyd Wright) in a 130-acre forest in North Georgia that he named Lost Forest. Dodd's challenge with this alter ego was to write an educational outdoors-themed continuity strip, in varied settings, about a good-guy conservationist who nevertheless remained credible as a man in his responses to exploiters and to underdogs, and to romance and to hardship. At its peak in the 1960s, the strip enjoyed distribution to about 500 newspapers through North America Syndicate and spun off numerous publications about camping and wildlife. The strip was written by Dodd and drawn by Tom Hill until the latter's death in 1978. He then retired, and the strip was continued by his long-time assistant, Jack Elrod. In 1983, based on a complaint from a reader, Elrod had the Mark Trail character abandon the trademark pipe that had been part of him from the beginning and in 1993, Mark and Cherry finally married. Today "Mark Trail" is distributed to 175 newspapers through King Features Syndicate. He was well-respected for his support of conservation, and in 1967 he received the Georgia Conservationist of the Year. Towards the end of his life, he established the Mark Trail/Ed Dodd Foundation. He died at the age of 88. In 1991 the US Congress honored his character with the Mark Trail Wilderness in the Chattahoochee National Forest in Georgia.

Bio by: William Bjornstad


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 3 Jun 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 9668
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Ed Dodd (7 Nov 1902–27 May 1991), Find A Grave Memorial no. 9668, citing Arlington Memorial Park, Sandy Springs, Fulton County, Georgia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .