Bob Englehart was born November 7, 1945 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Influenced by children's book illustrators Tibor Gergely and H.A. Rey, he determined early in life to be an artist. Later, as a teenager, Bill Mauldin, Norman Rockwell, and the illustrators of the Famous Artists School were an influence.
He attended the American Academy of Art on full scholarship for one and a half years out of three from 1964-1967 when he dropped out to join the staff of Chicago American, soon renamed Chicago Today. There, he studied closely the work of Pat Oliphant and Today's Wayne Stayskal, with their free, expressive line, and modern approach to editorial cartooning. One day, in a composing room error, Englehart's weekly cartoon ran large at the top of the editorial page and Wayne's ran small at the bottom. A career was born
In 1972, Englehart returned to Fort Wayne to start a small commercial art studio and began working for the morning daily Journal-Gazette, drawing free-lance editorial cartoons. In 1975, Englehart closed his studio and became the full-time editorial cartoonist for the Dayton, Ohio Journal Herald. It was like joining the circus. There, editorial cartoonists Mike Peters, Jeff MacNelly, Doug Marlette, Jim Borgman, and others influenced him. On December 15, 1980, he joined The Hartford Courant as the first full-time editorial cartoonist in the history of the country's oldest newspaper, founded in 1764.
Englehart has awards from the Overseas Press Club, John Fischetti Contest, Planned Parenthood, and Free Press Association and was the finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1979. His cartoons have appeared in USA Today, Time, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, the New York Times, the London Times, and, heaven forbid, Playboy and Hustler. His cartoons are in the collections of the Thomas Dodd Research Center at the University of Connecticut,
Eastern Connecticut State University, Connecticut Historical Society, Ohio State University, Indiana University-Purdue University library, and The Newseum in Washington, DC.
Englehart has appeared in a political comedy review on Broadway, had cartoon shows on ESPN and Connecticut Public Television, illustrated a children's book, drew a daily and Sunday comic strip and has written many articles for The Courant's op-ed page and Northeast magazine, now called NE. In December of 2005, he celebrated 25 years at the paper. His hobbies are golf and writing novels.
Englehart is married to Pat McGrath. They live in Middletown, CT and together have three grown children and four grandchildren. He describes his political philosophy as "moderately confused."