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CSBG Archive

Snark Blocker – Herblock Takes on Every President Since Hoover!

Herb “Herblock” Block had just so many great comic strips I could not fit them all in, and one thing I ended up omitting was the fact that, due to his longevity, the man produced cartoons caricaturing every United States President since Herbert Hoover!!

I figured, though, that that was far too cool NOT to mention, so, well, here ya go!

Enjoy the following comics of each President since Hoover…

Here is a two-fer, Hoover AND Franklin Delano Roosevelt…


Before the 1948 election, things were not looking good for Harry S. Truman when a bunch of Southern Democrats split off to form their own party under Henry Wallace.

So Herblock drew Truman as though he was one of the doomed troops in Alfred Tennyson’s The Charge of the Light Brigade.

Of course, Truman ended up having a better ending than they did…

Herblock does not treat Eisenhower too fondly here…


Here, Herblock depicts how Kennedy’s grand plans were stalled by Congress’ unwillingness to act – it was not until after JFK’s assassination that much of his ideas were put into law by Congress…


Herblock shows LBJ reeling from the fact that Everett Dirksen, the Republican Minority Leader of the Senate and a close ally of Johnson (from Johnson’s past in the Senate) especially with regards to escalation of the Vietnam War, turned on Johnson for his handling of the Vietnam War…


I don’t think this Nixon one needs explanation…


Barry Goldwater gave a very lukewarm recommendation of Gerald Ford for the Republican National Convention, saying that he was endorsing Ford because “the fact that at this time in our history I do not believe that our government can suffer through months and months of reorganization that [would] be necessary” if Ford lost.


This Carter one is fairly explicit – Carter was trying to fix his public persona as indecisive…


This Reagan one is pretty self-explanatory…


As is this Bush the First one…


So’s this Clinton one, really…


And finally, during the 2000 Election Campaign, here’s Bush the Second…

Herblock’s final cartoon (drawn at the age of 91, mere months before his death) was also a Dubya caricature.

So there you go!

Pretty cool, huh?


Love ‘em!

I’m really enjoying this series, thank you Brian!

Oh, and I think you must be getting tired… “Herd “Herbert” Block”…

Excellent stuff. The Light Brigade’s “charge” actually existed, mind, so I’m not sure it’s quite right to describe them as Tennyson’s. Cardigan was the chap in charge.

Herblock’s Eisenhower is just adorable.

As a foreign reader, I find each entry on this list a discovery, since I haven’t even heard of them before. It’s not only nice, but also quite educational. I think comic strips are the best way to measure the sociopolitical “temperature” of any period in history, and these are greats examples of that. Thanks for sharing this!

Why is Elliot Gould fixing Jimmy Carter’s TV? I love his depiction of LBJ but that Clinton cartoon is the best of the bunch imo as it wonderfully sums up the entire tone of his presidency (I love the crowd of smiling onlookers).

There’s a Herblock retrospective at the National Portait Gallery in Washington, DC going on right now. It’s adjacent to the permanent, complete collection of US Presidential portraits. I was just there this past weekend on vacation – awesome stuff.

Man, he was good. I love the caption “National Security-Blanket”.

claudia sperrholz

May 27, 2010 at 7:20 pm

thank you so much for all the wonderful work in your stars of political cartooning series.
in 1948 Truman’s democrats really did face “cannon to the right of them cannon to the left of them”
as the democratic party split in 3. Henry Wallace lead the leftist Progressive Party ticket while
Strom Thurmond lead the right-wing Southern Democrats aka The Dixiecrats

I would love to have seen one of his cartoons with Obama as president! Just awesome!

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