Stuart Joseph McDonald was born in Grand Forks, North Dakota, on March 15, 1931. He graduated from Grand Forks Central High School in 1949, and was involved with the student newspaper, The Centralian, as well as the yearbook, The Forx. He also served two years on the student council, and acted as President during his senior year.
McDonald attended the University of North Dakota for two years, where he pledged for Alpha Tau Omega, and was a member of the Newman Club and student government. He married Marceda Ann Wright in Grand Forks on March 3, 1951. McDonald entered the United States Air Force on March 20, 1951, and served until April 1952. Following his return, he became Vice-President of the McDonald Clothing Company, located at 311 DeMers Avenue in Grand Forks.
McDonald was the editorial cartoonist for the Sunday edition of the Grand Forks Herald from 1961 until 1967. His cartoons also appeared in the North Dakotan magazine from 1965 until 1968. The only regularly published editorial cartoonist from the Dakotas, McDonald won three George Washington Honor Medals from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge.
McDonald was named Grand Forks Outstanding Young Man by the Grand Forks Jaycees in 1964. He was elected to a seat in the North Dakota House of Representatives as a Republican in 1966, and served two consecutive terms in office. He acted as president of the Greater Grand Forks Sertoma, and was also active in the Elks and the Knights of Columbus. He was chair of the retail merchant division of the Grand Forks Chamber of Commerce, and taught Principles of Retailing at the UND College of Business.
McDonald moved to Denver, Colorado, in 1973 to serve in the Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He returned to North Dakota in 1981, to become director of the Jamestown-Stutsman County Business and Industrial Development Commission. McDonald moved back to Denver in 1991 when he became Head of the Office of Legislative and Public Affairs, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Western Field Office. He retired in 2001.
Stuart and Marceda McDonald had three children: Teresa, Greg, and Andrea. Marceda McDonald died on September 1, 2001. Stuart McDonald married Ann Pedrett in 2003.
Additional material was donated by Stuart McDonald, Newburgh, Indiana: in May 2004 (Acc.2006-2811), on July 5, 2005 (Acc.2006-2810), on January 19, 2006 (Acc.2006-2812) and on July 7, 2006 (Acc.2006-2846).
Additional material was also donated by Robert McConn, Grand Forks, North Dakota, on June 29, 2006. At that same time, one cartoon was transferred from the Bryce Streibel Papers, OGLMC 1339 (Acc.2006-2822).
The Stuart McDonald Papers have been divided into three series as follows:
Series 1: Cartoons by Stuart McDonald, 1961-1968
Series 2: Cartoons by Other Cartoonists, 1923-2003
Series 3: Cartooning Correspondence Courses
All of Stuart McDonald's cartoons have been digitized, and can be viewed at the Chester Fritz Library Digital Collections.