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Iowa History Daily: February 12 - Jay N. "Ding" Darling

Iowa History Daily: On February 12, 1962, two-time Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist J.N. “Ding” Darling passed away. An important figure in the 20th century conservation movement and helped found the National Wildlife Federation, Darling’s legacy extended from the page to help protect America’s public lands and wildlife.

Born in Michigan, Darling’s family moved to Sioux City during his childhood where Darling developed an early appreciation for nature and wildlife during days spent wandering the prairie. He started to learn the importance of conservation as a youth after an uncle admonished him for shooting a wood duck during nesting season.

Following college, Darling got a job working at the Sioux City Journal before eventually moving on to the Des Moines Register and Leader. After a couple of stints in New York, Darling returned to Des Moines where he continued his career as a cartoonist, winning the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning in 1924 and again in 1943.

Following the passage of the Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act in 1934, Darling designed the first Federal Duck Stamp. The J. N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island in southwest Florida is named after him, as is the Lake Darling State Park in Iowa that was dedicated on September 17, 1950. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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