J. Bruce MacKinnon
Doctor of Letters
Born in Toronto, J. Bruce MacKinnon's family lived briefly in Halifax, Truro and Kingston before settling in Antigonish where he received most of his elementary and secondary schooling. His first cartoons appeared in the Antigonish Casket while he was still a student in grades 9 and 10 and in the Antigonish Spectator when he was in grade 11. After a year at Saint Francis Xavier University, he studied Fine Arts at Mount Allison University and later, Graphic Design at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. In the period between 1978 and 1984, he worked at a variety of jobs including mall portrait artist; lobster fisherman; roughnecker on an oil rig; house painter; and cafeteria worker. In 1985, working out of his own home, he was "Mr. Mom" to his newborn daughter.
The Calgary Sun carried his first editorial cartoon - dealing with Margaret Thatcher while his first editorial cartoon in Nova Scotia appeared in the Port Hawkesbury Reporter and dealt with Kenzie MacKinnon and Allan J. MacEachern. For 1985, he supported himself as a free lance cartoonist prior to joining the staff of the Halifax Herald Limited and in 1986, filling the void left by renowned cartoonist, the late Bob Chambers. In the ten years that he has worked for the Halifax Herald Limited, he has been the recipient of seven Atlantic Journalism Awards; two National Newspaper Awards for Editorial Cartooning (1992 and 1993); and in 1995, the third prize in the Fraser Institute National Cartoon Competition.
He lives in Halifax with his wife Peggy and their children, Robyn and Jamieson.