Thursday, February 13, 2014

Ted Chambers (1920-2009)

Theodore T. "Ted" Chambers was born on November 21, 1920, in Indiana, probably in Indianapolis. His parents were William S. and Pearl Chambers, both from the South but in Indianapolis by 1920.

Ted Chambers graduated from Crispus Attucks High School, the Indianapolis high school for black students, in 1938. (Oscar Robertson also graduated from Crispus Attucks.) He studied architecture at Howard University, but only for a year and a half. By 1940 he was back in his home city and working as a draftsman.

Chambers joined the U.S. Navy in 1942. While in training in Boston, he became cartoon editor of Tracer, a monthly service magazine. A member of the first graduating class of black midshipmen, he was stationed in China towards the end of the war and was discharged in May 1946 after attaining the rank of lieutenant/junior grade.

Ted Chambers graduated from Tufts University and studied at the Art Students League in New York City. He began selling cartoons to ArgosyPic, and This Week Magazine in the summer of 1947. He lived and worked as an artist in New York City as late as 1960 and specialized in product illustration. He also lived in Yonkers and Sag Harbor, New York, and in Cliffside Park, New Jersey. He was a member of the Society of Illustrators.

Ted Chambers, Sr., died on June 16, 2009. His last residence was Sarasota, Florida. He was survived by his wife, son, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Thanks very much to Ted Chambers, Jr., for the information used in this update (April 23, 2014). To Mr. Chambers: I am unable to reply to your comment in the space below, so I will reply here. If you have any artwork by your father that you would like me to post here, please send it along to:

I hope you don't mind that I have used the cartoons shown below. Thanks again.

Three magazine gag cartoons by Ted Chambers.

Text copyright 2013 Terence E. Hanley


  1. It was him!
    Theodore T. "Ted" Chambers, 88, of Sarasota, formerly of Indianapolis, Yonkers, N.Y., Cliffside Park, N.J., and Sag Harbor, N.Y., died June 16, 2009.
    Wiegand Brothers Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
    Survivors include his wife of 58 years, Jeanne; son Theodore Jr.; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
    He was preceded in death by a son Vaughn.
    Ted graduated from Tufts University, and also attended the Art Students League in New York City. He served in the U.S. Navy at LTJG/P during World War II, and was in the first graduating class of black midshipmen.
    He was a commercial artist specializing in product illustration and was a member of the Society of Illustrators. -
    Ted Chambers Jr

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    1. To Anonymous and all other readers of this blog: I do not allow advertisements here. Thank you. TH