Two-time Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist Bill Mauldin has been selected by the U.S. postal Service as one of the subjects of its 2010 stamp program.
The stamp goes on sale in March.
During World War II, military readers got a knowing laugh from Mauldin’s characters Willie and Joe, who gave their civilian audience an idea of what life was like for soldiers. After the war, Mauldin became a popular and influential editorial cartoonist.
In 1945, at the age of 23, Mauldin won a Pulitzer Prize “for distinguished service as a cartoonist” and the Allied high command awarded him its Legion of Merit. His illustrated memoir, Up Front, was a bestseller. That same year, his “dogface” Willie appeared on the cover of Time.
He abandoned cartooning for a while, and in 1956, he ran unsuccessfully for the United States Congress as a Democrat in New York’s 28th Congressional District.
“I kept saying to myself, ‘You can’t win this thing, Mauldin, so let’s get some experience out of it,’ Mauldin told Target magazine in 1984, “Of course I tried to win. I jumped in with both feet and campaigned for seven or eight months.”
He lost the race handily to incumbent conservative Republican Katharine St. George, who was quoted as saying “I will not say that all Democrats are horse thieves but it would seem that all horse thieves are Democrats.”
In 1958, he returned to cartooning on the editorial pages of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The following year, he won a second Pulitzer Prize and the National Cartoonist Society Award for Editorial Cartooning, and in 1961 received their Reuben Award.
In 1962 he moved to the Chicago Sun-Times, where one of his most famous post-war cartoons appeared in 1963. The cartoon shows the statue of Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial, his head in his hands, crying, following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Mauldin remained with the Sun-Times until his retirement in 1991.
From 1969 to 1998, cartoonist Charles M. Schulz (himself a veteran of World War II) would annually pay tribute to Bill Mauldin in his Peanuts comic strip on Veterans Day. In the strips, Snoopy, dressed as an army vet, would go to Mauldin’s house to “quaff a few root beers and tell war stories.” The only exception was the last Veteran’s Day strip from 1999 where Schulz paid tribute to Ernie Pyle.