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Garry Trudeau

Garry Trudeau

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Garretson Beekman "Garry" Trudeau (born July 21, 1948) is an American cartoonist
A cartoonist is a person who specializes in drawing cartoons. This work is usually humorous, mainly created for entertainment, political commentary or advertising...

, best known for the Doonesbury
Doonesbury is a comic strip by American cartoonist Garry Trudeau, that chronicles the adventures and lives of an array of characters of various ages, professions, and backgrounds, from the President of the United States to the title character, Michael Doonesbury, who has progressed from a college...

comic strip.

Background and education

Trudeau was born in New York City, the son of Jean Douglas (née
Married and maiden names
A married name is the family name adopted by a person upon marriage. When a person assumes the family name of her spouse, the new name replaces the maiden name....

 Moore) and Francis Berger Trudeau. He is the great-grandson of Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau
Edward Livingston Trudeau
Edward Livingston Trudeau, M.D., M.S., D. Hon., was an American physician who established the Adirondack Cottage Sanitarium at Saranac Lake for treatment of tuberculosis.-Biography:...

, who created the world-famous Adirondack Cottage Sanitorium for the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis at Saranac Lake
Saranac Lake, New York
Saranac Lake is a village located in the state of New York, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 5,406. The village is named after Upper, Middle, and Lower Saranac Lakes, which are nearby....

, New York State. Edward was succeeded by his son Francis and grandson Francis Jr. The latter founded the Trudeau Institute
Trudeau Institute
The Trudeau Institute is an independent, not-for-profit, biomedical research center located in the Village of Saranac Lake, New York, whose scientific mission is to make breakthrough discoveries that lead to improved human health....

 at Saranac Lake, with which his son Garry retains a connection.

Raised in Saranac Lake, Garry Trudeau attended St. Paul's School
St. Paul's School (Concord, New Hampshire)
St. Paul's School is a highly selective college-preparatory, coeducational boarding school in Concord, New Hampshire affiliated with the Episcopal Church. The school is one of only six remaining 100% residential boarding schools in the U.S. The New Hampshire campus currently serves 533 students,...

 in Concord, New Hampshire
Concord, New Hampshire
The city of Concord is the capital of the state of New Hampshire in the United States. It is also the county seat of Merrimack County. As of the 2010 census, its population was 42,695....

. He enrolled in Yale University
Yale University
Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States...

 in 1966 and later became a member of Scroll and Key
Scroll and Key
The Scroll and Key Society is a secret society, founded in 1842 at Yale University, in New Haven, Connecticut. It is the wealthiest and second oldest Yale secret society...

. Trudeau was confident that his major would end up being theatre, but he discovered a greater interest in art design. A drawing by Trudeau of famous Yale quarterback Brian Dowling for the Yale Daily News
Yale Daily News
The Yale Daily News is an independent student newspaper published by Yale University students in New Haven, Connecticut since January 28, 1878...

led to the creation of a comic strip for the paper, Bull Tales, the progenitor of Doonesbury. As a Yale undergraduate, Trudeau was also the Editor-in-Chief of The Yale Record
The Yale Record
The Yale Record is the campus humor magazine of Yale University. Founded in 1872, it is the oldest college humor magazine in America.-History:The Record began as a weekly newspaper, with its first issue appearing on September 11, 1872...

, the nation's oldest college humor magazine. Trudeau continued his studies with postgraduate work at the Yale School of Art
Yale School of Art
The Yale School of Art is one of twelve constituent schools of Yale University. It is a professional art school, granting only Masters of Fine Arts degrees to those completing studies in graphic design, painting/printmaking, photography, or sculpture....

, earning his M.F.A. in graphic design in 1973.

Creative works

In 1970, Trudeau's creation of Doonesbury was syndicated by the newly formed Universal Press Syndicate
Universal Press Syndicate
Universal Press Syndicate, a subsidiary of Andrews McMeel Universal, is the world's largest independent press syndicate. It distributes lifestyle and opinion columns, comic strips and other content. Popular columns include Dear Abby, Ann Coulter, Roger Ebert and News of the Weird...

. Today Doonesbury is syndicated
Print syndication
Print syndication distributes news articles, columns, comic strips and other features to newspapers, magazines and websites. They offer reprint rights and grant permissions to other parties for republishing content of which they own/represent copyrights....

 to almost 1,400 newspapers worldwide and is accessible online in association with Slate Magazine at doonesbury.com.

In 1975, he became the first comic strip artist to win a Pulitzer
Pulitzer Prize
The Pulitzer Prize is a U.S. award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature and musical composition. It was established by American publisher Joseph Pulitzer and is administered by Columbia University in New York City...

, traditionally awarded to editorial-page cartoonists. He was also a Pulitzer finalist in 1990. He was nominated for an Oscar
Academy Award for Animated Short Film
The Academy Award for Animated Short Film is an award which has been given by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as part of the Academy Awards every year since the 5th Academy Awards, covering the year 1931-32, to the present....

 in 1977 in the category of Animated Short Film, for A Doonesbury Special, in collaboration with John Hubley
John Hubley
John Hubley was an American animation director, art director, producer and writer of traditional animation films known for both his formal experimentation and for his emotional realism which stemmed from his tendency to cast his own children as voice actors in his films.- Biography :Hubley was...

 and Faith Hubley
Faith Hubley
Faith Hubley was an animator, known for her experimental work both in collaboration with her husband John Hubley, and on her own following her husband's death.-Biography:...

. A Doonesbury Special eventually won the Cannes Film Festival
Cannes Film Festival
The Cannes International Film Festival , is an annual film festival held in Cannes, France, which previews new films of all genres including documentaries from around the world. Founded in 1946, it is among the world's most prestigious and publicized film festivals...

 Jury Special Prize in 1978. Other awards include the National Cartoonist Society Newspaper Comic Strip Award in 1994, and the Reuben Award in 1995.

He was made a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
American Academy of Arts and Sciences
The American Academy of Arts and Sciences is an independent policy research center that conducts multidisciplinary studies of complex and emerging problems. The Academy’s elected members are leaders in the academic disciplines, the arts, business, and public affairs.James Bowdoin, John Adams, and...

 in 1993. Wiley Miller
Wiley Miller
David Wiley Miller , an American cartoonist whose work is characterized by wry wit and trenchant social satire, is best known for his comic strip Non Sequitur, which he signs Wiley...

, fellow comic-strip artist responsible for Non Sequitur
Non Sequitur (comic strip)
Non Sequitur is a comic strip created by Wiley Miller in 1992 and syndicated by Universal Press Syndicate to over 700 newspapers...

, called Trudeau "far and away the most influential editorial cartoonist in the last 25 years."

In addition to his work on Doonesbury, Trudeau has teamed with Elizabeth Swados
Elizabeth Swados
Elizabeth Swados is an American writer, composer, musician, and theatre director. While some of her subject matter is humorous, such as her satirical look at Ronald Reagan, Rap Master Ronnie, and Doonesbury - both collaborations with Garry Trudeau - much of her work deals with dark issues such as...

 and written plays, such as Rap Master Ronnie and Doonesbury: A Musical Comedy
Doonesbury: A Musical Comedy
Doonesbury is a musical with a book and lyrics by Garry Trudeau and music by Elizabeth Swados.Based on Trudeau's comic strip of the same name, it focuses on that point in its history when the primary characters graduate from college and enter the workforce after more than a decade of being...

. In 1988, Trudeau joined forces with director Robert Altman
Robert Altman
Robert Bernard Altman was an American film director and screenwriter known for making films that are highly naturalistic, but with a stylized perspective. In 2006, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognized his body of work with an Academy Honorary Award.His films MASH , McCabe and...

 for the HBO
Home Box Office
HBO, short for Home Box Office, is an American premium cable television network, owned by Time Warner. , HBO's programming reaches 28.2 million subscribers in the United States, making it the second largest premium network in America . In addition to its U.S...

A miniseries , in a serial storytelling medium, is a television show production which tells a story in a limited number of episodes. The exact number is open to interpretation; however, they are usually limited to fewer than a whole season. The term "miniseries" is generally a North American term...

 Tanner '88
Tanner '88
Tanner '88 is a political mockumentary miniseries written by Garry Trudeau and directed by Robert Altman. First broadcast by HBO during the months leading up to the 1988 U.S. presidential election, it purports to tell the behind-the-scenes story of the campaign of a former Michigan U.S...

and the Sundance Channel miniseries sequel Tanner on Tanner
Tanner on Tanner
Tanner on Tanner is a 2004 comedy and the sequel series to the 1988 Robert Altman directed and Garry Trudeau written miniseries about a failed presidential candidate, Tanner '88...

in 2004.

In 1996, Newsweek and the Washington Post speculated that Trudeau wrote the novel Primary Colors, which was later revealed to have been written by Joe Klein
Joe Klein
Joe Klein is a longtime Washington, D.C. and New York journalist and columnist, known for his novel Primary Colors, an anonymously written roman à clef portraying Bill Clinton's first presidential campaign. Klein is currently a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and is a former Guggenheim...


Private life and public appearances

Trudeau married journalist Jane Pauley
Jane Pauley
Margaret Jane Pauley is an American television journalist, and has been involved in news reporting since 1975...

 in 1980. They have three children, Ross, Rachel, and Thomas, and live in New York City.

Trudeau maintains a low personal profile. A rare and early appearance on television was as a guest on To Tell the Truth
To Tell the Truth
To Tell the Truth is an American television panel game show created by Bob Stewart and produced by Goodson-Todman Productions that has aired in various forms since 1956 both on networks and in syndication...

in 1971, where all but one of the panelists failed to guess his identity.

Trudeau cooperated extensively with Wired magazine for a 2000 profile, "The Revolution Will be Satirized." He later spoke with the writer of that article, Edward Cone, for a 2004 newspaper column in the Greensboro, NC News & Record, about the war wounds suffered by Doonesbury character B.D., and did a 2006 Q&A at Cone's personal blog about his new site, The Sandbox.

Trudeau granted an interview with Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone is a US-based magazine devoted to music, liberal politics, and popular culture that is published every two weeks. Rolling Stone was founded in San Francisco in 1967 by Jann Wenner and music critic Ralph J...

in 2004 in which he discussed his time at Yale University, which he attended two years behind George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

. He granted another Rolling Stone interview in 2010.

In 2006, The Washington Post
The Washington Post
The Washington Post is Washington, D.C.'s largest newspaper and its oldest still-existing paper, founded in 1877. Located in the capital of the United States, The Post has a particular emphasis on national politics. D.C., Maryland, and Virginia editions are printed for daily circulation...

printed an article that writer Gene Weingarten
Gene Weingarten
Gene Weingarten is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist known for both his serious and humorous work...

 called, inaccurately, the "first extensive profile of him (Trudeau) in the 36 years since he began the comic strip." He has also appeared on the Charlie Rose
Charlie Rose
Charles Peete "Charlie" Rose, Jr. is an American television talk show host and journalist. Since 1991 he has hosted Charlie Rose, an interview show distributed nationally by PBS since 1993...

 television program, and at signings for his Doonesbury book about B.D.
B. D. (Doonesbury)
B.D. is a fictional character in Garry Trudeau's popular comic strip Doonesbury. In the comic strip, nobody is certain what "B.D." is short for , but he was based on Brian Dowling, quarterback at Yale University, where Trudeau attended college...

's struggle with injuries received during the second Gulf War.

On December 6, 2010, Trudeau appeared on The Colbert Report on Comedy Central to speak about 40: A Doonesbury retrospective.

Criticisms and controversies

In August 2001, Trudeau fell for a report by the fictional "Lovenstein Institute" that stated that President George W. Bush had the lowest IQ (91) of any president in the past 50 years, and that former president Bill Clinton's
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 IQ was exactly twice that of Bush. After mentioning it in Doonesbury, Trudeau made a public retraction.

In 2004, Trudeau made a widely-circulated offer of a $10,000 reward (in the form of a gift to the USO in the winner's name) for proof that George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 fulfilled his military
A military is an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country by combating actual or perceived threats. The military may have additional functions of use to its greater society, such as advancing a political agenda e.g...

 duties in the 1970s. (See George W. Bush military service controversy
George W. Bush military service controversy
George W. Bush's National Guard service was an issue in the 2000 presidential campaign and in the 2004 presidential campaign. A controversy centered on questions of how George W...

for more complete coverage). No one has collected on the offer.

Non-Doonesbury publications

  • Hitler Moves East: A Graphic Chronicle, 1941-43 (with David Levinthal), Sheed, Andrews and McMeel, 1977. Library of Congress 76-52888. The cover shows two Wehrmacht
    The Wehrmacht – from , to defend and , the might/power) were the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. It consisted of the Heer , the Kriegsmarine and the Luftwaffe .-Origin and use of the term:...

     motorcyclists. The book relates the story of Nazi Germany's Army Group Centre
    Army Group Centre
    Army Group Centre was the name of two distinct German strategic army groups that fought on the Eastern Front in World War II. The first Army Group Centre was created on 22 June 1941, as one of three German Army formations assigned to the invasion of the Soviet Union...

     on the Eastern Front
    Eastern Front (World War II)
    The Eastern Front of World War II was a theatre of World War II between the European Axis powers and co-belligerent Finland against the Soviet Union, Poland, and some other Allies which encompassed Northern, Southern and Eastern Europe from 22 June 1941 to 9 May 1945...

     through archival photos and new photography of model soldiers
    Toy soldier
    A toy soldier is a miniature figurine that represents a soldier. The term applies to depictions of uniformed military personnel from all eras, and includes knights, cowboys, pirates, and other subjects that involve combat-related themes. Toy soldiers vary from simple playthings to highly realistic...

    . ISBN 0-8362-0708-4

  • Finding Your Religion: When the Faith You Grew Up With Has Lost Its Meaning, by Scotty McLennan
    Scotty McLennan
    The Reverend William L. McLennan, Jr. — better known as "Scotty McLennan" — was born on November 21, 1948, son of William L. McLennan and Alice Polk Warner. He is an ordained minister, lawyer, professor, published author, public speaker and senior administrator at Stanford University...

    . Trudeau wrote the introduction and drew the cover cartoon.

  • Doonesbury.com's The Sandbox: Dispatches from Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, Andrews McMeel Publishing (October 1, 2007), ISBN 0740769456 ISBN 978-0740769450. Blogs by soldiers in Iraq
    Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

     and Afghanistan
    Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...


External links