Robert James Carr Dell was born February 2, 1908 in Chicago, Illinois. His father, Herbert Carr Dell, was born in 1890 in England. His mother, Maude B. Cecil, was born in 1880 in England. His parents married in 1905 in England and then moved to America and settled in Chicago, where the father worked as an accountant in the livestock industry. They had only one child, Robert J. C. Dell (b.1908). The family lived at 556 6-36th Street in Chicago.
In 1919 the family moved to 6432 Ellis Avenue in Chicago.
In June of 1925, at the age of seventeen, Robert C. Dell graduated from high school in Chicago.
In September of 1925 he began to attend the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, School of Liberal Arts.
While in college he joined the fraternity Alpha Chi Rho.
In 1929 he was editor of The Siren, a student publication.
He also contributed cartoons to the school yearbook, The Illio.
On June 12, 1929 Robert James Carr Dell graduated from the University of Illinois, College of Liberal Arts.
The 1930 U. S. Census recorded Robert C. Dell employed as an "artist" at a "newspaper." He worked on The Chicago Tribune. He lived with his parents as 909-911 East 64th Street in Chicago.
In 1937 Robert C. Dell began to draw gag cartoons for pulp magazines. His work was published in Gay Book, Bedtime Stories, Spicy Stories, 10-Story Book, and It's a Lulu! These were all magazines that featured pin-ups and risqué gag cartoons. He signed his work "r. c. dell."
In 1938 Robert C. Dell began to contribute gag cartoons to Esquire Magazine.
In 1939, at the age of thirty-one, R. C. Dell still lived at home with his parents at 6054 Harper Avenue in Chicago.
On August 20, 1940 Robert J. C. Dell married Mary Catherine Hutchins in Chicago. She was a high school graduate born in 1911 in Michigan and worked in Chicago as a newspaper photographer. They lived with his parents.
On August 4, 1941 the married couple left Chicago and moved to Marengo, IL, where they bought a home at 1002 North Page Street.
On November 26, 1943 Robert C. Dell attended the testimonial dinner of the noted Chicago Tribune newspaper cartoonist, John Tinney McCutcheon (1870-1949).
Cartoons by Robert C. Dell were included in The Best Cartoons of 1943 and The Best Cartoons of 1944 produced by Crown Publishers of NYC.
On January 27, 1944 The Daily Republican of Belvidere, IL, reported a cultural guild of the Belvidere Baptist church, "was entertained by Robert Dell, local cartoonist, who told interesting things about the life of a gag cartoonist. Mr. Dell's work appears from time to time in The Saturday Evening Post, Collier's and such magazines."
On November 12, 1946 R. C. Dell was admitted to St. Joseph's Hospital for medical observation of a heart condition.
In 1947 Harvey Comics produced Terry and the Pirates comic book, which included a page of gag cartoons by R. C. Dell.
In 1948 R. C. Dell contributed gag cartons to See Magazine.
In 1950 R. C. Dell contributed gag cartoons to True, a men's adventure magazine.
In 1955 Robert C. Dell drew a fanciful self portrait composed of the letters of his name.
In 1966 R. C. Dell retired from drawing gag cartoons for magazines.
On February 5, 1969 R. C. Dell was admitted to the hospital in Highland, IL, for observation of his chronic heart condition.
Robert C. Dell died of a heart attack at home in Marengo, IL, at the age of sixty-four on October 25, 1972.
© David Saunders 2016