Yardley Jones obituary and dead, editorial cartoonist, watercolourist, marathon runner

In 1957, Yardley Jones and his wife Mary immigrated to Canada, initially residing in Edmonton. While working as a house painter, he sold freelance cartoons, but his breakthrough came in 1962 when he became the first editorial cartoonist for the Edmonton Journal. In 1963, in response to John F. Kennedy’s challenge for soldiers to walk 50 miles in less than 20 hours, Yardley walked 50 miles from New Sarepta to Edmonton in 16.5 hours, creating a media sensation.

His illustrious career as an editorial cartoonist spanned decades and multiple major Canadian newspapers. Moving to Toronto in 1968, he worked for the Toronto Telegram, earning a National Newspaper Award in 1971. After the Telegram’s closure, he joined the Toronto Sun. In 1973, he moved to the Montreal Star until its demise, then returned to Edmonton in 1981 for the Edmonton Sun, and finally back to the Edmonton Journal in 1984, retiring in 1993. Syndicated across Canada, Yardley cleverly included a hidden black cat in all his cartoons. His extensive cartoon collection found a home at the National Archives of Canada and the Provincial Archives of Alberta.

In 1988, Yardley hosted a 26-part series titled “Cartooning With Yardley Jones” on a Canadian TV network, later picked up by U.S. public television.

Transitioning from newspapers in the early ’90s, Yardley focused on watercolors, depicting landscapes and cityscapes in Edmonton and Alberta. However, in 1993, the lively and health-conscious Yardley suffered a stroke, potentially linked to his participation in challenging high-altitude events over the years. Despite surviving, he had to relearn speech, reading, and writing. Remarkably, just nine months post-stroke, he was cross-country skiing in a Canadian Birkebeiner.

While readjusting to his life and art, Yardley collaborated with Alberta Entrepreneur Clarence Shields, illustrating a book co-authored by Fred Keating titled “The Bachelor’s Guide To Ward Off Starvation.” The book quickly became a national bestseller, selling over a quarter of a million copies in Canada and the U.S.

Scroll to Top