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by George J. Dance

Cigarette lighter, circa 1969

Graham Lee Hemminger (1895 - December 19, 1949) was an American poet who worked in advertising.


Born in Nicholson, Pennsylvania, Hemminger attended Pennsylvania State University, graduating in 1917. In November 1915, as editor of the campus humor magazine Froth, he wrote the light verse "Tobacco is a Dirty Weed" to fill a two-inch blank space. The verse caught on, being reprinted and parodied in both college magazines and mainstream newspapers across the country.[1]

As a result of his poem, upon graduation Hemminger began working with a Philadelphia advertising agency that specialized in tobacco advertising. He worked in the field for the remainder of his life, becoming an expert on drug industry merchandising, and figuring in the planning of trade campaigns of many leading manufacturers. At the time of his death, he was promotion director and a member of the board of directors of Topics Publishing Co.[1]

See also[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Hemminger Dies; Wrote Doggerel," The Penn Stater [Feb. 1950], "Notes on Life and Works," Selected Poetry of Graham Lee Hemminger (1895-1950), Representative Poetry Online, University of Toronto,, Web, Nov. 25, 2011.

External links[]

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