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Acclaimed Cartoonist Dunagin Donates Vast Collection to Southern Miss

Fri, 12/16/2011 - 03:46pm | By: Van Arnold

Cartoonist Ralph Dunagin, left, presented Southern Miss President Martha Saunders with an original watercolor painting as part of a large collection of his work he donated on Friday, Dec. 16, 2011. (Photo by Danny Rawls)

Renowned cartoon Ralph Dunagin, creator of “Dunagin's People,” presented a vast collection of original artwork, plus a bonus gift, to The University of Southern Mississippi during a special ceremony held on Friday, Dec. 16.

Dunagin, a Hattiesburg native who attended Southern Miss in the early 1960s, donated more than 900 pieces to the university's special collections and archives. A first cousin of Southern Miss President Martha Saunders, Dunagin also unveiled an original watercolor painting that he presented to the university's top administrator.

“As far back as I can remember I have wanted an original piece of Ralph Dunagin artwork and now I finally have it,” said Saunders. “We are so thankful to Ralph for making this contribution of his fine work. I know how hard it must be to let go of so many personal creations.”

Dunagin, who now makes his home in Winter Park, Fla, moved to Orlando in 1961 and accepted a job shortly thereafter as an illustrator at the Orlando Sentinel newspaper. In 1967 he created the comic strip “Dunagin's People” which was internationally syndicated until his retirement in 2001. Dunagin also wrote copy for the comic panel “Grin and Bear it” and worked with Dana Summers in creating the strip “The Middletons.”