Theodore (Ted) Carroll (1904-1973) is considered one of the greatest American artists of the 20th Century, notably as a master boxing cartoonist. His drawings and prose appeared on almost a monthly basis in The Ring, virtually from the magazine’s inception until his death -- almost 50 years. He became the sole cartoonist for The Ring in 1935. An African-American himself, his series on the history of black boxers for The Ring was a product of his meticulous research.
Born July 6, 1904 in New York to Jesse and Elizabeth, Carroll was raised in Greenwich Village and the Greenwich Settlement. He was graduated from the High School of Commerce in New York, and applied for entry into the Art Students League. He was turned down.
Carroll was also an accomplished athlete, excelling in basketball. He did some basketball coaching and is credited with starting Frank McGuire on his way to a successful coaching career. Carroll entered the United States Army and was discharged four years later as a First Lieutenant.
Carroll worked for the Brooklyn Daily Times from 1928-1933, and the Brooklyn Daily Eagle 1933-1937.
"He was rich in knowledge of the old writers, a strong admirer of Dr. Samuel Johnson and Boswell, of Goldsmith, Dickens, Faulkner and Wolfe.... Carroll picked Ray Robinson as the greatest boxer, pound for pound. He saw Willie Pep as the most clever. He picked Joe DiMaggio as the No. 1 ballplayer. His football favorite was Ken Strong, of NYU and the New York Giants. His basketball heroes were Bob Pettit and Bob Cousy. His favorite fight manager was Jimmy Bronson." The greatest fight he ever saw was Tony Canzoneri vs. Jimmy McLarnin (1st meeting).
Known for his ubiquitous bow-ties, Carroll never married, spending his last years in a small apartment on Edgecomb Street, Harlem, New York. In the last year of his career Carroll created paintings of horse racing, which were displayed at New York’s Aqueduct Track.
"If my career, such as it is, can help make this a better country for all, it will have been well spent." Ted Carroll