Jackie Ormes Biography, Life, Interesting Facts

Civil Rights Activist

Jackie Ormes

Birthday :

August 1, 1911

Died On :

December 26, 1985

Also Known For :

Illustrator, Cartoonist

Birth Place :

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States Of America

Zodiac Sign :


Jackie Ormes was born on August 1, 1911. She was an African American Cartoonist. She was renowned for being the first African American woman cartoonist. She died at the age of Seventy Four years.

Early Life

Jackie Ormes was born Zelda Mavin Jackson on August 1, 1911, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She was born to William Winfield Jackson and Mary Brown Jackson. She was brought up alongside one sibling. In 1930, she graduated from high school.

While at the high school she grew an interest in writing and drawing. She later joined Pittsburgh Courier and started journalism as a proofreader. She then worked as a freelance writer, police cases writing, human interest topics, court cases and as an editor.



In 1937, Jackie Ormes' first comic strip ‘Torchy Brown in Dixie to Harlem’ featured in the Pittsburgh Courier. The strip ran until 1938. In 1942, she went to Chicago. She later wrote occasional articles and social columns for The Chicago Defender. In 1945, her work ‘Patty-Jo ‘n’ Ginger’ which was a single panel cartoon premiered for eleven years.

In 1947, she signed a contract with Terri Lee Doll Company for the release of dolls resembling the ‘Patty-Jo ‘n’ Ginger’ characters. In 1950, she brought back a re-invented ‘Torchy in Heartbeats’ comic strip. In 1949, her contract with Terri Lee Company expired.

 In 1956, Jackie Ormes retired from cartooning. She after that proceeded with creating art which included: portraits, murals and still lifes. She volunteered in producing fundraiser fashion shows and entertainments at her South Side Chicago Community. She later became DuSable Museum of African American History’s member of the founding board of directors. She later became a doll collector.


Awards and Achievement

In 2014, Jackie Ormes was inducted into the National Association of Black Journalists Hall of Fame. In 2018, she was inducted as a judge’s choice into the Will Eisner Comic Industry Eisner Award Hall of Fame.


Personal Life

In 1931, Jackie Ormes got married to Earl Ormes with whom they had one child who died after three years of a brain tumor. In 1976, her husband died. Jackie Ormes died on December 26, 1985, of a cerebral hemorrhage in Chicago. She died at the age of Seventy four years.

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