Pat Oliphant

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Pat Oliphant
Born Patrick Bruce Oliphant
(1935-07-24) 24 July 1935 (age 85)
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Area(s) Editorial cartoonist

Patrick Bruce "Pat" Oliphant (born 24 July 1935) is an Australian editorial cartoonist whose career spans more than fifty years. His trademark is a small penguin character named Punk, who is often seen making a comment about the subject of the panel.[1] In 1990, the New York Times described him as "the most influential editorial cartoonist now working".[2]

Oliphant's career began in 1952 as a copy boy with the Adelaide News.[1] He worked as staff cartoonist for the Adelaide Advertiser until 1964, when he moved to the United States to take up a position with The Denver Post.[3] His strip was nationally syndicated and internationally syndicated in 1965. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning in 1967 for his 1 February 1966 cartoon They Won't Get Us To The Conference Table ... Will They?.[4] Oliphant moved to the now defunct Washington Star for six years, until the paper folded in 1981.

Oliphant's work has appeared in several exhibitions, most notably at the National Portrait Gallery. He has also crafted a series of small sculptures based on his caricatures of various political figures, which have been displayed alongside his drawings in some exhibitions. His work is in the permanent collection of the New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe.[5]

In addition to winning the Pulitzer Prize, Oliphant won the National Cartoonist Society Editorial Cartoon Award seven times in 1971, 1973, 1974, 1984, 1989, 1990, and 1991, the Reuben Award in 1968 and 1972 and the Thomas Nast Prize in 1992.[6]

Oliphant is the nephew of Sir Mark Oliphant, the Australian physicist who worked on the Manhattan Project during World War II, and who later became Governor of South Australia.[7]

Controversial cartoons

Oliphant's work, which from time to time employs ethnic caricatures, has been criticized occasionally. In 2001, the Asian American Journalists Association accused Oliphant of "cross[ing] the line from acerbic depiction to racial caricature".[8] In 2005, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee expressed concern that some of Oliphant's caricatures were racist and misleading.[9] In 2007, two Oliphant cartoons produced a similar response.

A cartoon[10] about Israel's conflict with Hamas in Gaza sparked criticism amongst some American Jews.[11] The Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, said the cartoon denigrates and demonizes Israel and mimics the Nazi propaganda. It called on the New York Times and other media groups to remove the cartoon from their websites.[12]


Chronological list:

  • Four More Years New York: Simon & Schuster
  • The Oliphant Book Simon & Schuster
  • An Informal Gathering Simon & Schuster, 1978 ISBN 0-671-24031-5
  • Oliphant!: A cartoon collection
  • The Jellybean Society: A cartoon collection
  • Ban This Book!
  • But Seriously, Folks!
  • The Year of Living Perilously: More Cartoons
  • Make My Day!
  • Between Rock and a Hard Place
  • Up to There in Alligators: More Cartoons
  • Nothing Basically Wrong
  • What Those People Need Is a Puppy!: More Cartoons
  • Fashions for the New World Order: More Cartoons
  • Just Say No!: More Cartoons by Pat Oliphant
  • Why Do I Feel Uneasy?: More Cartoons
  • Oliphant: The New World Order in Drawing and Sculpture 1983-1993
  • Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop ... More Cartoons by Pat Oliphant: More Cartoons
  • Off to the Revolution: More Cartoons
  • Reaffirm the Status Quo!: More Cartoons
  • So That's Where They Came From!
  • Oliphant's Anthem: Pat Oliphant at the Library of Congress
  • Are We There Yet?
  • Now We're Going To Have To Spray For Politicians
  • When We Can't See The Forest For The Bushes


  1. 1.0 1.1 The Outspoken Oliphant, by Kat Yancey, at; published 15 February 1998; retrieved 6 August 2014
  2. King, Wayne (5 August 1990). "What's so Funny About Washington?". The New York Times Magazine. The New York Times.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Lindesay, Vane The Inked-in Image p.77, Hutchinson of Australia, 1970 ISBN 0 09 135460 9
  4. Oliphant's Anthem: Pat Oliphant at the Library of Congress
  5. "Patrick Oliphant". New Mexico Museum of Art. Retrieved 9 December 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Interview with Sir Mark Oliphant
  8. Ginsburg, Marsha (24 June 2011). "Crisis Inflames Bias Against Asians / Ethnic stereotypes in broadcast, print media prompt protests". The San Francisco Chronicle.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. March 2009

External links