Back to all articles

The History of Raggedy Ann

In 1915, Johnny Gruelle’s daughter Marcella brought him an old rag doll. Gruelle drew a face on the doll and named her Raggedy Ann. Gruelle was a cartoonist and illustrator, so in 1918 he wrote a children’s book about his daughter’s doll. The book’s publisher, P. F. Volland, arranged to sell Raggedy Ann dolls along with the books, which helped catapult them both to fame. Then in 1920, Gruelle introduced the Raggedy Andy Stories. In the stories, Raggedy Ann and her newly introduced brother, Andy, came to life and had many adventures. For the next 20 years, Gruelle averaged one new book a year, adding to the Raggedy Ann canon. Over 100 years later, Raggedy Ann dolls and stories are considered classics for children and are still enjoyed today.

Share this article

card showing the history of rocking chairs

Your go-to guide for weird history facts

Subscribe to the FREE daily email that makes learning about history fun.