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Thursday, December 15, 2005

WARD, Jay

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Birth/Death

Birth: September 20, 1920 in San Francisco, Ca.
Death: October 12, 1989 in Hollywood, Ca.

Occupation/Title

Creator& Producer

Bio Summary

Jay was born with one letter given to his name. It was his choice to pick whatever he wanted from the J and of course he chose Jay. He grew up with no father but still managed to be fun loving and caring. Drafted into the Army Air Corps where he met his wife, he left the Army promising never to come back and became a real estate agent where he would meet his business partner and fell into animation never to look back. He and his partner Bill Scott would go on to create and produce animations biggest and most influential cartoons and products. Most recognizable are the Cap’n Crunch cereal, Quaker Oats, and perhaps the most famous, the world renown cartoon Rocky and Bullwinkle. 


Early Life/Family

Jay was an only child whose father left him and his mother. As a child Jay was slated to be a fun loving and caring kid who was always in a laughing mood and loved to tell jokes about any and everything. He studied at U.C. Berkeley (The University of California at Berkeley) in 1941 and received a Bachelor’s Degree. After studying at Berkeley, Jay went on to study at the Harvard Business School where he received his MBA. While studying at Harvard, before getting his MBA, Jay was drafted into the Army Air Corps. During the days in the Army, Jay went on to meet perhaps the most important and most major part of his life, his wife Ramona. They married in 1943 and had one girl whom they name Tiffany. 
With the army a past tens, Jay would return to Harvard to receive his MBA. With school being finished and having Degrees, he started his own small real estate agency which didn’t last to long. In 1948, he was approached with an idea from an old college colleague Alex Anderson (who was the nephew of Paul Terry of Terrytoons) to make and produce cartoons for television. Jay took the idea into consideration and together they created the first cartoon series expressly made for television entitled Crusader Rabbit which premiered on NBC in 1949. The first animated series stayed on television for about three years and was cancelled in 1952 forcing Jay to return to real estate. Even though Crusader Rabbit was a bust Jay wouldn’t let this destroy his career. He took one of the characters from the Crusader Rabbit and decided to make it into a cartoon which would become the birth of the famous cartoon Rocky and Bullwinkle. Rocky and Bullwinkle would premiere on ABC in 1959 but would move to NBC two years later. It showed levels of sophisticated humor that was hardly seen in other cartoons and taking on cultural issues such as college sports, advertising, and the Cold War. 
The tag team of the French-Canadian moose and the Boy Scott squirrel from Frostbite Falls, Minnesota broke many barriers and set off many heated battles between Ward and the network/sponsor. If being afraid of the censorship and their attempt to sue Ward for his obscured and ludicrous humor, someone forgot to tell Ward as he egged on the censorship and organizations to sue him, quipping, “We need the publicity.” 
Though the dynamic duo was very popular, the quality of the work coming from the Television Arts Productions (TAP), which is the television studio Ward and his partner Alex opened in Berkeley, in 1948 wasn’t considered to be the excellence in animation as the Crusader Rabbit was nothing but still drawings. Even though they lacked high quality animation, Ward productions achieved what made him stand out and that was the wit and sophisticated humor that the toons contained and to reach the audiences of the youngsters, kids, and adults. 
With the death of Jay Ward is studio Production Company is now being ran by his daughter Tiffany. He and his partner Alex had a great run in their field of business and was recognized for the creation of one the most loved cartoons in history that are still loved to this day. He also is the mastermind behind one of the most loved cereals in the world.


Education/Training

He studied and graduated at the University of California with a Bachelor’s Degree.
He studied and graduated at Harvard Business School with a MBA.

Career Outline

He was the creator and producer of the cartoon Rocky and Bullwinkle.
His production company produced General Mills cereal commercials.
His production company produced Quaker Oats cereal commercials.

Comments On Style

His style to me was very simple but effective. He had a natural sense of humor and it reflected in his cartoons. The political issues that the cartoons addressed were controversial but he still kept it to a point where people of all ages were able to enjoy them.

Influences

He was influenced strangely by his father leaving him when he was a little boy.

Personality

His personality from a young kid on through the rest of his life was very fun loving and so comedian like. Ms. Foray who did the voice of Rocky and other notable cartoons was interviewed a time ago and she had this to say about Ward’s personality. “Jay liked to record at about five in the afternoon, and so we would come in, tell jokes Jay would say ‘OK, I guess we better do it,’ and the only time we ever did it again from the top was if we laughed or were over two seconds. But we had a ball.” So I guess it’s more than safe to say that Jay was a joker.

Anecdotes

He bought an island in the area near his home and dubbed it “Moosylvania”. He and his publicist Howard Brandy crossed the country in a circus wagon, gathering signatures on a petition for statehood for Moosylvania.
He attempted to go D.C. to gain an audience with President John F. Kennedy unfortunately; they arrived at the White House just at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis and were escorted off the grounds at gunpoint.

Miscellaneous

Many of Jay’s cartoons had the letter J as a middle initial. 
The creator of the Simpsons gave Homer the middle name Jay as a tribute to Jay Ward.

Filmography

Producer – Rocky and His Friends 
The Bullwinkle Show
Fractured Flickers 
The Adventures of Hoppity Hooper 
George of the Jungle
The Dudley-Right Show
Quaker Oats cereal commercials
General Mills cereal commercials
Uncle Waldo’s Cartoon Show
Crusader Rabbit
Writer- George of the Jungle 2
The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle
Dudley Do-Right 
George of the Jungle 
Boris and Natasha
Director- The Golden Age of Buster Keaton

Honors

Annie Award: Winsor McCay Award 1978
Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Related Links

A-HAA: Exhibit: Grim Natwick In The Modern Age
A-HAA: Education: A Drawing Lesson From Walter Lantz

www.rockyandbullwinkle.com

Bibliographic References

The Moose that Roared: The story of Jay Ward, Bill Scott, A flying Squirrel, and Talking Moose. Author-Keith Scott
The Rocky and Bullwinkle Book. Author-Louis Chunovic
Fractured Fairy Tales. Author-A.J. Jaco

BIO-AAA-543

Contributors To This Listing

Anthony Daniels


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