Wayback Whensday: The Pulitzers of Kirby

Unlike the 2020s The Pulitzers had an Editorial Cartooning category in the 1920s.

Rollin Kirby took three of the first seven Pulitzers awarded in that journalism division.

The inaugural honor went to Rollin Kirby, who worked for an array of New York newspapers and magazines. He won the award for his depiction of the victims of the Russian famine of 1921.  

It was the first of three Pulitzers that Kirby would capture in his career, which spanned over forty years.

His first Pulitzer-winning cartoon, The Road to Moscow, appeared in the World on Aug. 5, 1921.  He struck again on Oct. 5, 1925 with News from the Outside World, which portrayed countries who were not part of the League of Nations, and earned him his second Pulitzer.

Kirby then won a third Pulitzer for Tammany, which appeared on Sept. 24, 1929 [1928] and employed the Tammany depictions of the acclaimed Thomas Nast from decades before.  The cartoon derided Republicans who blasted Tammany and ignored their own corruptions.

Images from the Rollin Kirby Wikiwand page

Tom Emery, for The Bellevue Herald-Leader, profiles three time* Pulitzer winner Rollin Kirby.

Amazingly two of the three cartoons could, with minimal adjustments, be applied to situations today – Russia cutting off grain exports from Ukraine and Republican hypocrisy over any number of topics (yeah, Democrats too).

[* Other three-peaters: Edmund Duffy, Herbert l. Block, Jeff MacNelly, and Paul Conrad.]

further reading: A 1940 American Artist piece on the cartoonist via Larry Rippee and Molly Rea.

One thought on “Wayback Whensday: The Pulitzers of Kirby

  1. Rollin Kirby was and is one of my favorite political cartoonists. I deeply regret not buying some of his original drawings when I saw them for sale in New York, years ago.

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