Jay Norwood Darling, born on October 21, 1876, was so popular by the time he was thirty-five years old that a reporter at the New York Globe quipped, "The Centennial at Philadelphia was laid down in the year 1876 in order to coincide with the birth of J. N. D." It is possible that the Globe's tribute was not generous enough. Throughout his long career, newspaper readers nationwide praised Darling as the greatest living American political cartoonist. He produced the majority of his work for the Des Moines Register newspaper. Darling also worked for a short period for the New York Globe and later created cartoons for national syndication through the New York Herald Tribune. His image of mallards, rapidly sketched on a piece of cardboard in early 1934, became the illustration for the first Federal Duck Stamp. The first fifteen duck stamps, issued between 1934 and 1948, formed the bedrock of the duck stamp program's revenue generation, and Darling's first image became the model for the stamp's format-an image of a duck in a natural habitat. During this period, hunters and conservations purchased 18,967,556 of the 1-dollar denomination Federal Duck Stamps.