American cartoonist (1921-2003). He was born in Mountain Park, New Mexico. He had always wanted to be a cartoonist and enrolled in Chicago's Academy of Fine Art after getting out of high school. Soon afterwards, however, World War II got started, and Mauldin found himself a member of the U.S. Army's 45th Division.

In 1940, Mauldin created his cartoon soldiers, Willie and Joe, for the division's newspaper. The cartoon quickly grew in popularity, and by 1944, Mauldin was working for "Stars and Stripes" as a full-time cartoonist. After his cartoons got mentioned in one of war correspondent Ernie Pyle's columns, Mauldin's work was soon syndicated by United Features.

Mauldin's frequently anti-authority cartoons sometimes got him in trouble with the brass. In 1945, General George S. Patton wrote the Stars and Stripes and threatened to ban the paper from his Third Army unless they quit printing Mauldin's cartoons. General Dwight D. Eisenhower didn't mind the cartoon at all and arranged a meeting between Mauldin and Patton. They met, argued, and didn't change each others' minds. Mauldin stated later that he thought Patton was a nut but a great soldier and said he thought they parted as friends, though it's suspected that Patton carried a grudge, since he later threatened to have Mauldin jailed.

In 1945, Mauldin received his first Pulitzer Prize for newspaper cartooning (at 24, he was the youngest prize winner) and published "Up Front", a book which reprinted many "Willie and Joe" cartoons, along with comments about the situations that inspired each cartoon. He also wrote a number of short stories and published "Back Home" in 1947, "Bill Mauldin in Korea" in 1952, and "The Brass Ring" in 1971, among others. He even appeared in the 1951 film version of "The Red Badge of Courage" as Tom Wilson (the loud soldier) and in "Teresa" as Grissom that same year. He won a second Pulitzer in 1959 and received a Reuben Award from the National Cartoonists' Society in 1969. After many years as an editorial cartoonist (his cartoons were heavily critical of McCarthyism, the KKK, and the Vietnam War), he finally retired from cartooning in 1992.

Mauldin died on January 21, 2003 of complications from Alzheimer's disease, including pneumonia, at a nursing home in Newport Beach, California.


trainman reminds me: "What, no mention of Snoopy going to Bill Mauldin's house to 'quaff root beers' every Veteran's Day?" Can't believe I forgot that!

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