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Cathy Guisewite

Cathy Guisewite
Cathy Guisewite in 1987, holding her Emmy Award
Born Cathy Lee Guisewite
(1950-09-05) September 5, 1950 (age 65)
Dayton, Ohio, USA
Nationality Template:Comics infobox sec/creator nat
Area(s) Cartoonist
Notable works
Cathy (1976-2010)
Awards 1987 Emmy Award
1993 Reuben Award

Cathy Lee Guisewite (born September 5, 1950) is an American cartoonist who created the comic strip Cathy, which had a 34-year run. The strip focused on a career woman facing the issues and challenges of eating, work, relationships and having a mother—or as the character put it in one strip, "the four basic guilt groups."

Early life

Born in Dayton, Ohio to William L. and Anne Guisewite, she and her younger sister Mickey grew up in Midland, Michigan and graduated from Midland High School in 1968.,From 1963 to 1973 Cathy's First Cartoon Strip Roxbury syndicated by Copley News Service for Early Cartoons.,She attended the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, where she was a member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority. In 1972, Guisewite earned a Bachelor's degree in English. She followed her father's vocation and began working in advertising at Campbell-Ewald, then Norman Prady before settling at W.B. Doner & Co. near Detroit. Her talent and hard work was rewarded with a vice presidency in 1976.[1][2]


Guisewite would draw funny pictures as an "emotional coping mechanism" to events in her life and work, and forward them to her parents. Her mother kept urging her to send them to a publisher, so finally, she did. "My entire goal with my submission package was to get my mother off my back. My goal was not to do a comic strip. It was to make Mom quit telling me I could do a comic strip."[3]

Guisewite was flabbergasted when the company sent her a contract to produce a comic strip.

Cathy was syndicated to 66 newspapers in 1976[4] by Universal Press Syndicate, now Universal Uclick,[5] and Guisewite did both—her advertising job during the day, and comics at night. By 1980, the strip was carried by 150 dailies and she was earning $50,000 per year for Cathy,[4] so she finally quit the advertising business to work on Cathy full-time and moved to Santa Barbara, California.[6]

The comic strip was a "running social commentary"[7] for her confusion. Guisewite explained, "You were a liberated woman or you were or a traditionalist. To even voice vulnerability if you were a feminist was wrong and to voice interest in liberation if you were a more traditional woman was wrong. So I believe the women I was speaking to in the early years of my strip were women like me, who were at that age in our 20s where we were kind of launched into adulthood with a foot in both worlds and no way to really express it.”[7] At the peak of the strip's popularity in the mid-1990s, it appeared in almost 1,400 papers.[6]


In 1987, she received an Emmy for Outstanding Animated Program for the TV special Cathy, which aired on CBS. Guisewite was a frequent guest in the latter years of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.

Guisewite is a member of the National Cartoonists Society and received their highest honor, the Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year, in 1992.

Guisewite has been granted seven honorary degrees.


One of Guisewite's classmates at University of Michigan was Lawrence Kasdan. When Kasdan's movie The Big Chill (1983) opened, Guisewite devoted an entire week of Cathy strips to it, with Cathy and her co-workers enthusing over the film and seeing it repeatedly.

Guisewite adopted daughter Ivy in 1992,[1] then married screenwriter Christopher Wilkinson in 1997. Wilkinson has a son, Cooper, but the couple had no children together.[8][9] On August 11, 2010, Guisewite announced the strip's retirement, and it came to an end on Sunday, October 3, 2010, after 34 years.[5][10] Two months later, Guisewite filed for divorce from Wilkinson.[9] Her daughter, Ivy, had one year left before heading off to college, and Guisewite wanted time to share her experiences with Ivy.[7]



  1. ^ a b "Cathy Guisewite". NNDB. Retrieved 5 August 2013. 
  2. ^ "Cathy Lee Guisewite". Gale Encyclopedia of Biography. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
  3. ^ Hogan's Alley, The Goodbye Girl, 2011
  4. ^ a b Sweeney, Louise (March 13, 1980). "When life becomes a comic strip". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "'Cathy' comic strip ending after 34 years" from AP
  6. ^ a b Heintjes, Tom (April 24, 2012). "The Cathy Guisewite Interview". Hogan's Alley. Retrieved 5 August 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c Peters, Jeremy W. (August 15, 2010). "Swimsuit Season’s Over. For Good.". New York Times. Retrieved 5 August 2013. 
  8. ^ "Member Bios: Cathy Guisewite". National Cartoonists Society. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
  9. ^ a b Gallagher, Deirdre (December 27, 2010). "Passages". People. Retrieved 5 August 2013. 
  10. ^ Huget, Jennifer LaRue (September 30, 2010). "Cathy Guisewite, creator of 'Cathy' comic, on weight". Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-10-10. 

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