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Herblock

Updated on December 1, 2016

Herbert Lawrence Block (October 13, 1909 – October 7, 2001) was an American cartoonist, known as Herblock, celebrated for the boldness of his draftsmanship and the incisiveness of his political satire. He was born in Chicago on Oct. 13, 1909, attended Lake Forest College from 1927 to 1929, and studied art part-time at the Chicago Art Institute.

Herblock became an editorial cartoonist with the Chicago Daily News in 1929, worked for the NEA Service from 1933 to 1943, served in the U. S. Army from 1943 to 1945, and joined the Washington Post in 1946. He won Pulitzer prizes in 1942 and 1954 for his political cartoons, as well as the "Reuben" of the National Cartoonists Society as the outstanding cartoonist of 1957. His books of cartoons include The Herblock Book (1952), Herblock's Here and Now (1955), Herblock's Special for Today (1958), and Straight Herblock (1964).

Herblock's political cartoons, syndicated in more than 200 papers, usually express a liberal point of view. Their most potent weapon is satire. Although drawn with the traditional tools of the political cartoonist (brush and grease pencil), they avoid heavy-handed solemnity and jan toward broad comic characterization and biting caricature. Their barbs are almost always touched with wit. They are uncluttered technically, and the basic idea comes through clearly.

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