Chester Gould

Chester Gould (1900-1985) was a cartoonist who published a syndicated comic strip, on which a number of books were based, centered on a detective character named Dick Tracy. He worked for several newspapers, beginning in Oklahoma and, eventually, in Illinois.

“I decided that if the police couldn’t catch the gangsters, I’d create a fellow who could.” –Chester Gould

Read more about Chester Gould here:

According to

“On October 4, 1931, “Dick Tracy” first appeared in the Detroit Mirror, one of the Tribune owned papers, then in the New York Daily News, then the Chicago Tribune, and on and on, taking the country by storm. So popular was the strip that it appeared on the front page of the New York Daily News for 45 consecutive years, and it was seen in 27 foreign papers.”

The Dick Tracy Museum in Woodstock

The Dick Tracy Museum that displayed the lifelong work of its creator, Chester Gould, closed its doors in Woodstock a few years ago and now remains only in cyberspace. Though not on our physical Illinois trail, it can be visited through You can still buy Dick Tracy books and merchandise through the website.

In 1990, the Dick Tracy feature film was released starring Warren Beatty, Al Pacino, and Madonna.

Today, many believe that Dick Tracy’s watch was the inspiration for the Apple Watch. In 2017, stated:

“Two and half years after the first Apple Watch was launched, the new improved watch may finally be ready to push aside those legacy watchmakers and make smartwatches an in-demand holiday gift item. If, of course, the new Watch lives up to the standards Dick Tracy set so many years ago.”

This place is only virtual, but you can visit other Illinois authors’ homes and workplaces on our Illinois Author Adventures Trail:

Patricia Smart