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May 7, 2020 50 min

Host Keith Crowley talks with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Historian Mark Madison about J.M. "Ding" Darling, the creator of the Duck Stamp and the Director of the Bureau of Biological Survey (predecessor to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.) Darling was a Pulitzer Prize winning political cartoonist who had a knack for getting the most out of people when it came to conservation. Because of his leadership, his forethought and his political skills, billions of dollars have been raised for conservation over the past 80+ years through the Duck Stamp Act and the Pittman-Robertson Act. Darling also created the artwork for the first Duck Stamp in 1934 as well as the flying goose symbol found at National Wildlife Refuges across America. Darling was a passionate hunter and passionate leader fighting for the preservation of the outdoor life he loved. Madison and Crowley discuss Ding's relationships with both Teddy Roosevelt (whom he admired as a personal friend and as the President) and Franklin Roosevelt (who he disliked politically, but grew to respect,) as well as his close friendship with President Herbert Hoover. Our host also explains his love of the Ding Darling Refuge on Sanibel Island in Florida

Related Information:

  • Ding Darling Bio
  • History of the Duck Stamp
  • Darling Editorial Cartoon Archives
  • Bye Now, It's Been Wonderful Knowing You (Ding's Farewell Cartoon, published posthumously.)
  • Images from Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge
  • Darling's Comic which won his first Pultizer
  • _______________________________________________________________

    Theme Music: Grip of the Black Gold
    Songwriter: Steve Blexrud
    Performed by Steve Blexrud and Thunderheads

    Books by Keith Crowley

  • Pheasant Dogs: Stories from the Field
  • Gordon MacQuarrie: The Story of an Old Duck Hunter
  • Wildlife in the Badlands 
  • Keith Crowley's published wildlife and sporting photography can be found at

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