America’s Darling:  The Story of Jay N. “Ding” Darling

Press ReleasesScreenings and Events – News Comments
Production PhotosArchival Treasures – Contemporary Artists 

A Word from the Executive Producer……

“In retracing Darling’s legacy, it has become evident that Darling was truly a modern day Renaissance man. The path on which the Marvo team is traveling opens one door only to discover that other doors are waiting to be explored. Darling maintained the course of his life with confidence and consequence, enabling his vision to be realized.”

Samuel Koltinsky

“As founder of National Wildlife Federation, ‘Ding’ Darling inspires our work today for the nature of tomorrow.”

Larry Schweiger, President
National Wildlife Federation

” ‘Ding’ Darling’s inspiration to preserve the earth reached beyond social, economic, and even generational lines. His love for the earth established a conservation ethic that has been embraced in the past, practiced in the present, and guarantees a sustainable future for generations yet unborn. A true pioneer that I honor for his inspiration to me and all of Mother Earth’s inhabitants.”

Jerome Ringo, CEO
Chief Business Officer, Bard Holding, Inc.

“J. N. ‘Ding’ Darling helped create the modern National Wildlife Refuge System, drew the first Duck Stamp, and founded the National Wildlife Federation in the midst of the Great Depression and Dust Bowls. He was a whirlwind of activity and truly a Renaissance man of the American Conservation Movement.”

Dr. Mark Madison, Historian
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

“Darling had said the hardest thing for him to do was to take a complex global issue and boil it down to a single editorial cartoon. From what I have seen from his speeches and letters, his mind worked in that way as well, that is to say, he did not beat around the bush– he was clear, concise and direct–no matter who you were, he let you know what he was thinking.”

Kristie Anders, Education Director
Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation

“Long before he was known as a conservationist and wildlife artist, Jay Norwood ‘Ding’ Darling was one of the nation’s most important editorial cartoonists. He got his start at the Sioux City Journal, but it was with the Des Moines Register and Leader (now the Des Moines Register) that he made his reputation. Beginning in Des Moines in 1906, Darling’s prominently displayed front page cartoon attracted a wide readership and played a prominent role in transforming the struggling newspaper into the statewide ‘Newspaper Iowa Depends Upon’. He won two Pulitzer Prizes for his political cartoons, which graced the Register for more than 40 years, and a front page editorial cartoon remained a staple at the Register through 2008. This renown as a political cartoonist made Darling a national figure, allowing him to become a vigorous proponent of the conservation movement.”

Dr. William Friedricks, Director
Iowa History Center at Simpson College

“America’s Darling is a timely look back at a man who transcended conventional mores. Jay Norwood ‘Ding’ Darling was a visionary and pragmatist, a staunch believer in personal responsibility and public service. As an avid hunter, fisherman, and outdoorsman, ‘Ding’ Darling witnessed firsthand the vanishing of wildlife populations and the destruction of natural resources. When ‘Ding’ saw a problem, he didn’t just complain about it, he took action. He acted through the gift of his artistic talent and keen wit as a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner editorial cartoonist. He acted through his inspirational leadership and political savvy to form alliances across the political spectrum to achieve landmark conservation successes, both in the public and private sector. America’s Darling is appropriately named because it celebrates a man who brought people of different interests together for a common purpose – saving America’s wildlife. ‘Ding’ Darling was not only a man ahead of his time, he was a man for all times. In this sense, he truly was America’s Darling.”

Paul Tritaik, Wildlife Refuge Manager
J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge Complex

“The Friends of Des Moines Parks Foundation is pleased to be a supporter of the upcoming documentary, America’s Darling, produced by Marvo Entertainment Group LLC and Executive Producer Samuel Koltinsky.  This film will celebrate the life and legacy of twice Pulitzer Prize winner Jay Norwood ‘Ding’ Darling.  ‘Ding’ Darling was a Des Moines Register syndicated editorial cartoonist in over 150 newspapers, ardent conservationist, and founder of the U.S. Duck Stamp Program.  Darling was also the chief of the U.S. Biological Survey, the forerunner of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, under President Franklin Roosevelt.  He lived in Des Moines most of his life where he donated land for Prospect Park.  The Friends is proud to carry on his tradition of support for parks in Des Moines.”

 Jane Hein
Friends of Des Moines Parks

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