MT History: Who Was Stan Lynde? (Montana Artist Made it Big) Plus Fun Activities for Kids!

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“Stan Lynde was born in Billings, Montana, on September 23, 1931. He was an American comics artist, painter, and novelist. He was raised on his father’s ranch near Lodge Grass, Montana, on the Crow Indian Reservation.

He attended elementary, middle, and high school at Lodge Grass, working on the ranch and traveling with the family wherever his father’s sheep-raising business took them. During his early years, he lived with his parents in “every kind of dwelling you can imagine, from a sheep wagon to a tent, dugout, line shack, cabin, and ranch house.”

He attended the University of Montana at Missoula, Montana. During the Korean War, he served with the Navy on the island of Guam and on board the submarine tender U.S.S. Sperry.

Lynde was discharged from the navy in 1955. After an attempt at ranching and working for a newspaper in Colorado Springs, he moved to New York City in 1956. He was employed by the Wall Street Journal and took art classes at night.

Lynde created the comic strip Rick O’Shay in 1958, a substantial critical and commercial success. It was set in the west and mixed humor with solid storytelling. Lynde left the strip in 1977 after a dispute with his distributor, the Chicago Tribune Syndicate.

Stan was co-founder and a director of The Great Montana Centennial Cattle Drive, which in 1989 celebrated Montana’s centennial with a 60-mile cattle drive from Roundup, Montana, to Billings. The six-day drive featured 2,812 cattle, 3,337 horses, 208 wagons, and 105 of the state’s top cowboys.

In 1979, Lynde returned with another comic strip, called Latigo, starring Cole ‘Latigo’ Cantrell. His father was a mountain man, and his mother, a Crow Indian. The daily strip was launched on June 25, 1979, and joined by a Sunday strip on July 1, 1979. However, it was not a great commercial success and ended in 1983. In 1984 and 1985, Lynde produced the weekly panel Grass Roots, which was revived in 1998.”

You can learn more about Stan here and access awesome activities for kids as you navigate our great state!




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