WAITE, Keith

1927 - 2014

Keith Waite

Roy Keith Waite was born at New Plymouth, New Zealand on 19 March 1927, son of Albert Waite, owner of a coal mine, and his wife Norah née Henderson. In 1936, at the age of nine, Waite won a newspaper cartoon competition which became his chosen career. His mother however, wishing him to become a teacher, had him educated at the Sacred Heart College, a Roman Catholic boarding school on the South Island and he then attended Auckland’s Teacher Training College, at the same time he studied art in the evenings at the Elam School of Fine Arts in Auckland 1948-1949. Keith obtained work as a cartoonist on the ‘Taranaki Daily News’ and ‘Auckland Weekly News’, followed by the ‘Otago Daily Times’ 1949-1951. He married his first wife, Dallas O'Donnell, and they had three sons and a daughter. In 1951 he arrived in London to work for the Kemsley Newspapers group and after working in London he was then assigned to the group's Glasgow papers 1952-1953 but left Kemsley to freelance for 'Punch’, ‘Men Only’ and other publications. In 1956 he was made Editorial/Political Cartoonist on the ‘Daily Sketch’ and his cartoons had running titles such as ‘Waite's Comment’ or ‘Start the Day Bright with Waite’. In 1962, Waite moved from one cartoon a day to three, run with the heading ‘As Waite Sees It’ and in 1963 was voted CCGB Cartoonist of the Year. In 1965 he left the ‘Daily Sketch’ for the newly created ‘Sun’ with whom he remained until 1969 when it was purchased by Rupert Murdoch and moved to the ‘Daily Mirror’. Living at Rose Cottage, Pin Mill, Ipswich he married secondly at Ipswich in 1977, Zelma Muriel MacKenzie (1921-6 September 1978), an illustrator and wood engraver, but she died the following year. In 1985, after it had been sold to Robert Maxwell, Waite left the ‘Daily Mirror’ and in 1987 became business-page cartoonist on ‘The Times’. He married thirdly, on his 35-foot ketch 'Lutra II', at Tobermory on the Isle of Mull in 1983, Renee M. Parrott (born 1941), an office manager of a tree nursery. He retired in 1997 and was a member of the Pin Mill Sailing Club. In 1966 Waite was one of the founder members of the British Cartoonists' Association and won several international awards for his work. An admirer of cartoonist David Low (1891-1963) and was also influenced by the work of Carl Giles. Roy Keith Waite died, after a lingering illness, at Ipswich on 10 April 2014, aged 87.

Works by This Artist