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Charles Dana Gibson (American, 1867-1944)


Birth Place: Roxbury (Suffolk county, Massachusetts, United States)

Charles Dana Gibson was born on Sept. 14, 1867 in Roxbury, Mass. to parents Josephine and Charles DeWolf Gibson. Gibson's family tree includes former U.S. Senators James DeWolf and William Bradford.

Gibson's career got its start in 1886 when he sold his first pen-and-ink drawing to Life Magazine. Gibson's works were then published in the magazine on a weekly basis for the next 30 years. This exposure jump started his career as we went on to have works published in other magazines such as Harper's, Scribner's, The Century and Collier's.

Gibson married Irene Langhorne in 1895 who may have provided the original inspiration for his iconic creation, the "Gibson Girl," that would become the idea of beauty at the turn of the 20th century. The "Gibson Girl" was slim but voluptuous with a narrow waist and ample bosom and buttocks. She was always dressed in the most fashionable clothing, wore her hair in the contemporary style of the time and was the epitome of beauty. The "Gibson Girl" was depicted as an equal to men, but as one who could use her beauty to bend them to her will. The "Gibson Girl" gave Gibson widespread fame and wealth, but its popularity waned along with the end of World War 1.

Gibson would go on to become the editor and owner of Life Magazine in 1918 and be elected into the National Academy of Design. Gibson retired in 1936 and died in New York in 1944 at the age of 77.

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