Harold Maples was born in Pettit, Texas in 1925. He was raised in Snyder and Dermott and graduated from Fluvanna High School, where he played football and basketball. Maples served in the U.S. Navy in the South Pacific from 1943 to 1946. After his military service, he enrolled in McMurry College in Abilene, where he studied art. Later, Maples moved to Dallas, where he continued to study art at the Dallas Art Institute (under Olin Travis) and the American School of Commercial Art. Maples sold early editorial Cartoons to the Abilene Reporters-News and the Snyder Daily News. After working freelance, he became the editorial cartoonist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in 1954. For 27 years, Maples drew more than 7,000 editorial cartoons for the paper. Known nationally for his skillfully executed drawings, he gave each a distinctive Texas flavor.
No subject was too mundane or too important for Maples. He addressed local, national, and international topics such as the beginning of a new school year, threats to world peace, impending drought, auto safety, the Cold War, LBJ's Great Society, jobs prospects for new college graduates; government spending, relations with China, the Fort Worth Stock Show, the Vietnam War, race relations, U.S. diplomacy, the Space Race with the Soviet Union, presidential politics; gun control, the Mideast Peace Talks, voter apathy, Watergate, the Nixon impeachment hearings, the Iran Hostage Crisis, dependence on foreign oil, and the Texas weather, with equal humor, skill, and imagination.
Harold Maples died in 1981. The collection was a gift of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in 1982.