John Doctoroff was a portrait artist based in Chicago, IL. He attended The Cooper Union School of Art from 1909 – 1911. He was born in 1893 in New York City. Following his graduation from The Cooper Union, he moved to San Antonio, TX, and then to Dallas TX.

In 1924, John Doctoroff won a national competition for best campaign portrait of Calvin Coolidge held by the Republican Party. That same year, he moved to Chicago and set up a studio there where he specialized in painting portraits. He also began attending the The Art Institute of Chicago in 1925. In 1928, The Republican National Party commissioned him to make the official portraits of Ex-President Hoover and Vice-President Curtis. In 1929, he moved to Europe for a year to further study portrait painting. He returned to Chicago following that trip. He was commissioned to paint several works for the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.

John Doctoroff painted the mural in the Rotary Club of Chicago titled, “He profits Most Who Serves Best” in 1931. He spent some time living at the Tree Studio building in Chicago.

In 1939, he painted a portrait of Governor Landon who was running for president. A photograph of the Doctoroff with that painting is available from Getty Images. Embed from Getty
John Doctoroff also painted the portrait of Charles Dawes that hangs in the Evanston History Center in Evanston, IL. He also painted a portrait of Paul Harris, the founder of the Rotary Club in Chicago. A photograph of the Doctoroff with that painting is available on this Rotary site

John Doctoroff died in Chicago on June 28, 1970.



  1. INVENTORY OF THE JOHN DOCTOROFF PAPERS, 1924-1967, The Newberry Library, Chicago, Link
  2. Ask Art, Link
  3. Rotary Club Chicago, Luis Grell Foundation Website, Link
  4. Herbert Hoover, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Website, Link

  5. Tree Studio Building and Annexes, Wikipedia Website, Link

  6. Evanston History Center Website, Link
  7. Portrait of Rotary Founder Paul Harris by John Doctoroff, Rotary Global History Fellowship Website Link