JN Ding Darling: Jay Norwood Darling was the man for whom the J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge is named. The refuge is located on Sanibel Island in Southwest Florida.
Jay Norwood Darling, better known as Ding Darling, was an American cartoonist and a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning in 1924 and 1943.
Born in Norwood, Michigan in 1876 where his father was a minister, he later lived in Iowa and attended college in South Dakota and Wisconsin. He became art editor of the yearbook at Beloit College in Wisconsin and would sign his name D’ing, a contraction of his last name. It became a nickname that stuck throughout his life.
During his lifetime, Darling was a reporter for the Sioux City Journal, the Des Moines Register, the New York Glove, and the New York Herald Tribune. His cartoons were published in the New York Herald Tribune from 1917 to 1949.
Although known for his political and conservation cartooning, Ding Darling was also well known in the conservation area. He was the father of the Federal Duck Stamp program and his design was on the first stamp. Today the Federal Duck Stamps are an essential instrument for our wetland conservation program. Ninety-eight cents out of every dollar generated by sales is to purchase or lease wetlands for protection and preservation. Duck Stamps have become collector items as well as a useful tool for refuge area admittance for hunting or birding. You may purchase duck stamps at many post offices, many sporting-goods stores, at some wildlife refuge areas, or online.
Ding Darling founded the National Wildlife Federation. Darling was appointed by Franklin D. Roosevelt to the US Biological Survey which later became the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Lake Darling State Park in Iowa was also named after him. Ding Darling died in 1962