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Origins of 12 Modern Icons

Alfred E. Newman, the face of Mad magazine

Chances are you're picturing a freckle-faced, jug-eared kid, right? The character's likeness, created by portrait artist Norman Mingo, was first adopted by Mad in 1954 as a border on the cover. Two years later, the humor magazine used a full-size version of the image as a write-in candidate for the 1956 presidential election. Since then, several real people have been said to be "separated at birth" from Mr. Newman, namely Ted Koppel, Jimmy Carter, and George W. Bush.