John Barton Gruelle was a newspaper cartoonist, children's book author and illustrator. Born in Arcola, Illinois as the son of landscape artist Richard Gruelle, he became a newspaper illustrator when he was still a teenager. He first came to notice in 1911, when his newspaper comic 'Mr. Twee Deedle' replaced Winsor McCay's 'Little Nemo' in the New York Herald. This comic ran until 1914.
Gruelle is best-known ror his 'Raggedy Ann & Andy' children's books, and his many illustrations and stories for magazines. Raggedy Ann was based on a doll Gruelle designed for his daughter in 1915. The first book, 'Raggedy Ann' stories, followed in 1918. The character's brother Raggedy Andy was added in the sequel 'Raggedy Andy Stories' in 1920. In 1929, Gruelle returned to newspaper comics with the Sunday strip 'Brutus', which ran in The New York Herald-Tribune until his death in 1938.