I Was There

<em>I Was There With the Yanks on the Western Front</em>

Cyrus Leroy Baldridge (1889-1977) was a well-known illustrator of history and adventure books.  His approach to art came from his mentor Frank Holme, who ran the Chicago School of Illustration.  Holme's motto was "Say it with a few bold strokes." Baldridge was accepted into Holme's school at age ten, and later put himself through the University of Chicago, paying his way by drawing signs for events.

He served on the Mexican border with the National Guard in 1916.  In 1917, he joined the French Army but, when the U.S. entered the war, he transferred to the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF).  He was part of the team that created the Stars and Stripes newspaper, serving as the chief artist.  His work appeared in virtually ever issue of Stars and Stripes from March 1918 untl the end of the war, as well as in numerous issues of Leslie's Weekly and other periodicals.  Harold Ross, founder of The New Yorker and a coworker on Stars and Stripes, called him the greatest illustrator of the war, but Baldridge grew disillusioned with the war and the colonialism that fueled it.

I Was There