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 Don Wright’s 1966 award-winning cartoon.
Don Wright is notable in this feature because he is the first cartoonist featured who is still alive! Not only is Wright alive, but he is still producing excellent political cartoons (you can see his current work here).
Wright was born in 1934 and began his career in newspapers as an acclaimed photographer. It was not until 1963 that Wright was convinced by the editor of the Miami News to switch over to political cartooning.
Wright went on to become one of the most acclaimed political cartoonists, including winning the Pulitzer Prize twice, in 1980 and in 1966, just three years after becoming a political cartoonist.
The cartoon that Wright won for is another in a series of “Uh oh, Nuclear War!” cartoons that have won the Pulitzer Prize (we’ve already seen Frank Miller and Rube Goldberg also do very similar cartoons that also won Pulitzers).
This IS a well-done cartoon, though, titled, “You Mean You Were Bluffing?” it expertly captures the absurdity of the worldwide poker game that the United States and the Soviet Union were involved in at the time.