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Monday, 8 October, 2001, 10:34 GMT 11:34 UK
Cartoonist 'Herblock' dies
President Clinton
Clinton was the butt of his cartoons, but honoured him
The great US political cartoonist Herbert L Block, who wrote under the name Herblock, has died aged 91.

In a career which started in the 1920s, Herblock won three Pulitzer prizes and coined the term "McCarthyism" to describe the tactics of anti-Communist senator Joe McCarthy.

Herbert Block
Herbert Block was born in 1909
His last cartoon appeared in August in the Washington Post - the newspaper to which he had regularly contributed cartoons since 1946.

Since August he had been on holiday, but after falling ill he died of pneumonia on Sunday.

Herblock's cartoons lampooned every US president from Herbert Hoover to George W Bush.

They also chronicled the great issues of his time, including the Great Depression, the rise of Hitler, the Cold War, the civil rights movement and the scandals of the Clinton years.

His work was syndicated in hundreds of newspapers in the US and elsewhere.

Pulitzer prizes

In 1950, he had a one-man show at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, which was attended by then president Harry S Truman.

He received three Pulitzer Prizes for his political cartoons - and shared a fourth Pulitzer with The Washington Post for its coverage of the Watergate scandal which resulted in the resignation of President Nixon.

President Clinton - who was also the butt of many of Herblock's cartoons - awarded him the highest civilian honour in the US, the Medal of Freedom, in 1994.

A previous president, Lyndon Johnson, had refused to give Herblock the Medal of Freedom in 1967.

He wrote a dozen books, including 1993's Herblock: A Cartoonist's Life.

In an essay of show of his cartoons at the Library of Congress, the cartoonist wrote that a political cartoon was "a means of poking fun, for puncturing pomposity."

He also added: "In opposing corruption, suppression of rights and abuse of government office, the political cartoon has always served as a special prod - a reminder to public servants that they are public servants."

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