Gary Larson (born August 14, 1950) is an American cartoonist. He is the creator of The Far Side, a single-panel cartoon series that was syndicated internationally to more than 1,900 newspapers for fifteen years.The series ended with Larson's retirement on January 1, 1995, though in September 2019 his website alluded to a "new online era of 'The Far Side.'" His twenty-three books of collected cartoons have combined sales of more than forty-five million copies.
Larson was awarded the Newspaper Panel Cartoon Award by the National Cartoonists Society in 1985 and 1988. Larson earned the society's Reuben Award for 1990 and 1994. Larson has been recognized for various individual strips by the National Cartoonist Society in 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993 and 1995.
One of Larson's more famous cartoons shows a chimpanzee couple grooming. The female finds a blonde human hair on the male and inquires, "Conducting a little more 'research' with that Jane Goodall tramp?" A representative from the Jane Goodall Institute thought that this was in bad taste and wrote a critical letter to Larson regarding the cartoon. Larson contacted the Goodall Institute to apologize only to find that Jane Goodall, who had been in Africa at the time of the cartoon's publication and only learned of it years after its initial publication, approved of it, stating that she found it amusing. Since then, all profits from sales of a shirt featuring this cartoon go to the Goodall Institute. Goodall wrote a preface to The Far Side Gallery 5, detailing her version of the "Jane Goodall Tramp" controversy.