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 Garry Trudeau  (1948 - )

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Lived/Active: Connecticut      Known for: cartoonist

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Ad Code: 4
Garry Trudeau
from Auction House Records.
Doonesbury Sunday Comic Strip Original Art dated 4-30-78 (Universal Press Syndicate, 1978)
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Garry Trudeau is the creator of the trenchant topical satire strip, Doonesbury. Born Garretson Beekman Trudeau in New York City, he grew up in the fashionable upstate resort area of Saranac Lake.

As a student in St. Pauls School in New Hampshire, which he entered in 1960, he was president of the Art Association, co-edited the yearbook, won the senior class art prize, and drew murals for a local hospital. When he went to Yale in 1966, he continued to pursue his artistic inclinations. He created a comic strip in his first year -- "a Feifferesque embarrassment," according to Time magazine, about the social failures of a Yale freshman but he made no efforts to publish it because he recognized its graphic defects. In his junior year, he tried again with Bull Tales, satirizing not only the social problems of freshman, but also the entire range of campus life. The strip appeared that year in the Yale newspaper and proved so popular that James Andrews, who was then in the process of creating Universal Press Syndicate with John McMeel, noticed it.

When Trudeau graduated with an M.A. in art and architecture in 1970, Andrews persuaded him to bring Bull Tales to the new syndicate. He cleaned up for the general market, renamed for its principal character, and it appeared in 28 newspapers as Doonesbury in 1970.

Quickly outgrowing its academic setting, Doonesbury made Trudeau the most prominent cartoonist-commentator on the political scene during the 1970s. It brought him the 1975 Pulitzer Prize the first ever awarded for a comic strip and 13 honorary degrees, one from his alma mater. In 1977, he received an Academy Award for his animated show "A Doonesbury Special," presented on NBC-TV. He accompanied the press corps on President Fords trip to China that same year, and became a frequent contributor to such liberal publications as Harpers, The New Republic, and Rolling Stone.

Trudeau has steadfastly refused to license his characters for advertising or merchandising and, with all the attention his often-controversial strip brings him, rejects the lure of personal publicity, explaining, "I dont like celebrification. Everything I have to share I share in the strip." The tremendous success of that strip, appearing in nearly 900 newspapers, and publicly quoted by every president since Richard M. Nixon, has made him probably the most influential comic strip artist in history.

He is married to Jane Pauley, television personality.


(Information on the biography above is based on writings from the book, "The Encyclopedia of American Comics," edited by Ron Goulart.)


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