ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – It takes Dan Martin under two minutes to draw a man who used to draw a well-known bird for a living.
His name was Amadee.
‘Wolschlaeger,’ says St. Louis Post Dispatch illustrator Dan Martin. ‘The old story he readily told is he misspelled his last name on one of the cartoons he did so he just started signing his first name Amadee, A-m-a-d-e-e. ‘
Amadee was the man behind the Weatherbird from 1932 until 1981.
He grew up in the Carondelet area but yesterday passed away at 102 years of age.
‘If you were to make a deal with the devil and say I’ll die in your sleep at 102 I think most people will take that,’ says Martin.
Amadee’s art proved the felt tip pin is mightier than a sword.
He could capture an event or person with his signature style not seen by many in today’s modern society.
‘He was using a technique largely forgotten today,’ says Martin. ‘It was Ebony graphite and pencil on something called social board.’
He was known for his larger than life personality and the ability to put a moment of time on paper.
Amadee was synonymous with his sports cartoons and wild sport coats.
In recent years he was a regular at Charlie Gitto`s where you can see some of his handiwork hanging on the walls.
‘Amadee actually learned a lot of this stuff from cartoonists in the 1890’s,’ says Martin. ‘ So you can make a direct line back from Amadee to 19th century newspapering almost.
That’s a line that tells a lot of this city’s history in black and white.