Name: Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer Laxman
Born: 24 October 1921
Location: Mysore, Karnataka, India
Died: 26 January 2015
Occupation: Cartoonist, Illustrator
Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer Laxman was famously known as R.K. Laxman was born on 24 October 1921 in Mysore. He is famous for his creation of cartoon “The Common Man” for the daily comic strip “You Said It” which was started in the year 1951 in The Times of India.
R.K. Laxman was the youngest of six sons and his father was a headmaster. Laxman was called as the “Pied Piper of Delhi”. From childhood he had a passion towards drawing and he used to draw the caricatures his father and teachers. Later he developed that interest into reality. He used to illustrate one of his brother’s (R.K. Narayan) stories. Laxman inspired from the famous British Cartoonist Sir David Low, whose cartoons used to appear in The Hindu. Though his father expired, Laxman continued his schooling with the help of the family. After high school, he applied to the J.J. School of art, but the college rejected saying that he lacked in talent. Then he completed his graduation with a Bachelor of Arts from University of Mysore.
- As a student he started illustrations to newspapers and magazines including Swarjya and Blitz and also political cartoons for local newspapers.
- He also drew illustrations for movies like Narada and later he shifted to Mumbai and worked for many newspapers. Laxman got his first break with R.K. Karanjia’s weekly publication Blitz and became famous as a cartoonist.
- R.K. Laxman joined Free Press Journal in the year 1946 as a political cartoonist, Bal Thackerey was his colleague, who later became a famous politician.
- In the year 194 he also created popular mascot “Gattu” for the Asian Paints group.
- He joined The Times of India and started working as a cartoonist for children’s magazine and later on he became chief political cartoonist for that paper. His became very popular with his cartoon “The Common Man”. The character received many applauses.
- Apart from his cartoons and illustrations he was also a writer. Some of his novels are “The Hotel Riviera” and “The Messenger”. The book “The Distorted Mirror” is a collection of short stories, essays and articles.
- R.K. Laxman honoured with many awards which include Indian civilian honours Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan.
- He also received Ramon Magsaysay Award in the year 1984 for journalism, literature and creative communication arts.