Richard Crowson was born and raised "in the shadow of Graceland" in Memphis, Tennessee. He cartooned for his high school and college newspapers in Memphis, winning several national and regional awards. In 1978 he became the first editorial cartoonist for The Jackson Sun newspaper in Jackson, Tennessee. He came to Wichita in 1986 and became the Wichita Eagle's first full-time editorial cartoonist. His cartoons have been reprinted in Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Kansas City Star and USA Today as well as other publications and many books.
Mostly retired, he currently cartoons for The Wichita Eagle monthly. Richard also draws web cartoons and recorded on-air commentaries for KMUW radio, Wichita’s NPR affiliate.
Gradually the dismal landscape of political reality got to him and he began to seek a way to regain the primal joy that art gave him as a child. Finally, in 2016, he started painting. His work is heavily influenced by late 1950s cartoons and mid-century artists like Jim Flora.
Richard and his wife, Karen, are bluegrass musicians who performed monthly at Watermark Books and Cafe for 23 years, halted by the pandemic. He writes and performs satirical songs about politics and current events, as well as being a devotee of traditional folk and bluegrass music. They released a CD of Christmas music with daughter Haley singing angelically in 2010. Richard also plays in the jam band, Pop and the Boys, and in the cowboy band, The Home Rangers.
The Crowsons live in Wichita under the authority of their mixed-breed pooch Cora, and Labradoodle Perry.
Career-wise, Richard is most proud of his job from 1967 through 1970, when he worked as Elvis Presley's paperboy in Memphis (combining his interests in journalism and in music).
That's Richard in the photo in 1955, at the Mid-South Fair in Memphis. He's the one on the right.