Ronald Edward (Ron) Meyer (1938–2016)
Ron Meyer was a graphic artist, journalist, satirist, newspaperman, and political cartoonist from Little Rock (Pulaski County). In the early 1960s, Meyer went to work for Sam Hodges at the Benton Courier, first in advertising and later as general manager. During his tenure, Meyer helped the paper achieve both state and nationwide recognition. He also worked as a freelance artist for several Little Rock firms before opening his own advertising agency.
Ronald Edward Meyer was born on October 18, 1938, in Little Rock to Velma Irene Maghar Meyer and Raymond Edward Meyer, who was originally from Hazen (Prairie County). He had one brother, Gerald, and two sisters: Patricia and Betty. Meyer’s parents divorced when he was ten years old, leaving him to be raised by his mother and paternal grandparents. As a boy, Meyer attended church with his family in Geyer Springs. Meyer had a love of history, cars, model airplanes, and art.
Meyer graduated from Little Rock Central High School in 1956. The same year, Meyer joined the U.S. Marines, serving mostly at Camp Pendleton in California. His work as a mortar gunner contributed to lifelong hearing loss.
On February 5, 1960, Meyer married Jimmy Shores; they had three children: Ronald Stuart, Kelly Elizabeth, and James Shores.
Meyer finished his military career in the reserves in Little Rock (ending his military career in 1962), where he began working as a freelance artist. Meyer never attended college and was mostly self-taught as an artist. He worked for several Little Rock firms, including the Gus Blass Company, Dillard’s, LaFever Ad Agency, and the Arkansas Democrat.
Meyer was hired by Sam Hodges at the Benton Courier (now the Saline Courier) on March 1, 1961. Meyer became the paper’s general manager a year later. In 1970, the Courier changed from a weekly to a daily newspaper. Meyer’s cartoons, usually printed on Sundays in the Courier, were syndicated by the Arkansas Democrat. His cartoons and editorials in the Courier helped the small-town newspaper earn honors state- and nationwide. After Meyer retired from the Courier in 2003, he purchased Benton Office Supplies, a local print shop, and opened the Ron Meyer Advertising Agency. Meyer continued to write columns for the Courier until January 23, 2009, being associated with the newspaper in some capacity for nearly fifty years.
Meyer was involved in local politics and with several organizations in Saline County, including the Benton-Bryant Rotary Club, the Red Cross Board of Saline County, and the East End Fire Department. He was a member of the Top Ten Outstanding Young Men in Arkansas and a member of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. He was a member of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Benton and taught Sunday school at Benton’s First Methodist Church.
In early 2016, Meyer suffered a stroke. He died on July 3, 2016, at the St. Vincent Hospice facility in Little Rock. In accordance with his wishes, there was no funeral service.
For additional information:
“Common Man: Episode 4—Brent Writes on Ron Meyer, the Editorial Cartoonist.” https://www.mysaline.com/brent-ron-meyer/ (accessed February 25, 2021).
Obituary of Ronald E. Meyer. Saline Courier. https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/bentoncourier/obituary.aspx?n=ronald-e-meyer&pid=180559689 (accessed February 25, 2021).
Cody Lynn Berry
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