Matt Davies Is First Herblock Prize Winner

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By: Dave Astor

Matt Davies won the first Herblock Prize for editorial cartooning, which carries a $10,000 award and sterling silver trophy.

Davies — of The Journal News (Click for QuikCap) in White Plains, N.Y., and Tribune Media Services (TMS) — will receive the prize Thursday night during a ceremony at the Library of Congress. Ben Bradlee, former executive editor of The Washington Post, is then scheduled to deliver a lecture on “The New Culture of Lying” in America.

“Herblock has been one of my heroes, and winning the Herblock Prize is a tremendous honor,” said Davies. He also told E&P that “it’s a very important time to be an editorial cartoonist, because it is such a divided nation. What was extreme right-wing radio during the Clinton years now passes for [Bush] administration policy.”

The Herb Block Foundation created the prize to help “keep two things alive: editorial cartooning and Herb’s name,” said Frank Swoboda, president of the foundation — which was created with money from Herblock’s $50-million estate. The foundation’s other past, current and future activities include donating more than 14,000 Herblock cartoons to the Library of Congress, giving scholarships to college students, and dispensing grant money to various organizations.

Herblock — who had a 72-year, multi-Pulitzer-Prize-winning career — was with The Washington Post and Creators Syndicate when he died in 2001 at the age of 91.

Davies joined The Journal News in 1993 after freelancing for various publications. He was born in London and moved with his family to the U.S. as a 17 year old in 1983.

Judges for the prize included “Doonesbury” creator Garry Trudeau of Universal Press Syndicate, columnist Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune and TMS, and Editor David Remnick of The New Yorker magazine.

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