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Oct. 19, 2000 -- No. 558

Editorial cartoonist and "Kudzu" creator Doug Marlette to speak at UNC-CH

By CYNDI SOTER
UNC-CH School of Journalism and Mass Communication

 

CHAPEL HILL -- Doug Marlette, Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist and creator of the comic strip "Kudzu," will speak on "Political Cartooning and the 2000 Election" Oct. 26 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The UNC-CH School of Journalism and Mass Communication will present the free public lecture, part of its Roy Park Lecture Series, at 7 p.m. in 111 Carroll Hall.

Marlette will also take part in a day-long event Oct. 28 that explores the relationship between the media and politics. Sponsored by the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, a series of three panel discussions featuring prominent academics and professionals from throughout the country will begin that morning at Carroll Hall. The discussions are free to the public.

A Greensboro native, Marlette began drawing editorial cartoons for the student newspaper at Florida State University. In 1972, he was hired as a cartoonist by The Charlotte Observer, where he worked 15 years before moving to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. In 1989, Marlette joined Newsday, where he continues to work today. His cartoons are syndicated in hundreds of newspapers worldwide.

Marlette has won every major award for editorial cartooning, including the 1988 Pulitzer Prize. In 1998, he received the National Headliners Award for Consistently Outstanding Editorial Cartoons for the third time. He is the only cartoonist to win a Nieman fellowship at Harvard University. He also took first place in the 1992 Fischetti Cartoon Competition, becoming the only repeat first-prize winner in the awardís history.

In addition to his political cartoons, Marlette is also well known for his comic strip, "Kudzu," created in 1981. The strip, syndicated in 300 newspapers throughout the United States and abroad, features Kudzu Dubose and the residents of Bypass. The cartoonís voice of wisdom, the Rev. Will B. Dunn, is modeled after Will D. Campbell, a Mississippi author. The musical adaptation of the strip, which Marlette created with Jack Herrick, current member of Triangle band the Red Clay Ramblers, and Bland Simpson, founding member of the band, was recently produced at Duke University and Fordís Theatre in Washington, D.C.

Setting down his cartooning pen, Marlette has also written columns for Esquire and contributed to The New Republic and The Nation magazines. His work is collected in 17 volumes, including "Even White Boys Get the Blues" and "I Feel Your Pain."

His speech at UNC-CH will be the third in the Park Lecture Series featuring outstanding mass communication professionals. The Park Foundation funds the lectures; it also funds fellowships to encourage top professionals to return to the classroom and help educate new generations of professionals. Each year Park Foundation funding provides scholarships to 12 students entering masterís degree studies and 12 students entering doctoral studies at UNC-CH.

The lecture series is named for Roy H. Park, who was founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Park Communications Inc., a multimedia company with broadcast and print properties throughout the United States. Park had a longtime affiliation with the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, serving on its Foundation Board of Directors from 1981 to 1993 and its Board of Visitors from 1989 to 1993. In 1989, he received the North Carolina Award, the stateís highest civilian honor. He was inducted into the N.C. Journalism Hall of Fame, which is headquartered in the school, in 1990. He died in 1993.

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Contact: Ruth Walden, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, (919) 962-4088.