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I thought it would be an interesting look into our nation’s political cartoon history if, this month, I took a look at a different editorial cartoon each day that won the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning. Do note that we’re talking basically 1922-1967 here, as since then, the Committee has almost always awarded cartoonists generally for their work, not for an exemplary single cartoon. So in many ways, this is a snapshot of American politics (for better or for worse) over a forty-five year period. Here is an archive of the cartoons featured thus far.
Today we look at Patrick Oliphant’s 1967 award-winning cartoon.
Pat Oliphant, born in Australia in 1934, may be the most influential political cartoonist alive, and almost certainly he is the most influential political cartoonist still nationally syndicated today.
Oliphant drew a number of cartoons protesting the Vietnam War, and it was these cartoons that first brought him to the public eye.
Few of his anti-Vietnam War cartoons, though, were quite as powerful as this cartoon from February, 1966, which Oliphant produced for the Denver Post one week after Ho Chi Minh, president of North Vietnam, sent a letter to Communist leaders denouncing the United States’ peace initiatives of the time (Oliphant was not much of a fan of the US, either, but this particular cartoon is concerned more with Ho Chi Minh)…
So powerful, and such a controversial approach back then, over 40 years ago…
Oliphant is one of only two cartoonists this month who are still alive.
Sadly, this is the last 1960s cartoon to win the Pulitzer Prize, so the last pass through the list I will have to double up some of the other decades…
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