Ann Telnaes is First Woman to Win Reuben Award and Pulitzer Prize

Photo of Ann Telnaes

Cartooning history was made when Ann Telnaes of the Cartoonist Group won the 2017 Reuben Award to become the first female to receive both the Reuben Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartoons.

Telnaes received the Reuben Award at the 2017 convention of the National Cartoonist Society, held in Portland, Oregon, May 27, 2017.  The Reuben Award is the highest award given by cartoonists to cartoonists. Telnaes received the Award for her animated and static editorial cartoons created for the Washington Post during 2016.

An elite group of nine male cartoonists precedes Telnaes as winners of both the Pulitzer Award and the Reuben Award.  In order of their Reuben Award wins, they include Herbert Block (1956), Bill Mauldin (1961), Pat Oliphant (1968 and 1972), Jeff MacNelly (1978 and 1979), Mike Peters (1991), Jim Borgman (1993), Garry Trudeau (1995), Mike Luckovich (2005) and Michael Ramirez (2015).

In accepting the Reuben Award, Telnaes offered praise and encouragement for the work of all cartoonists.  In regards to editorial cartoonists, Telnaes mentioned how proud she was of her colleagues because “while the news media did not hold Donald Trump accountable during the election, editorial cartoonists did.” Speaking about all cartoonists, Telnaes observed “A lot of you don’t consider yourselves to be editorial cartoonists but there are a lot of you doing some really good social commentary.  So keep it up because we need it.” 

Lucy Shelton Caswell, Professor Emerita and Founding Curator of The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum commented “What strikes me about Ann's work is not only its high standard for both content and beauty/appearance, but also that she is embracing new delivery platforms in a very forward-thinking and creative way.”  Caswell added “She earned this recognition because her work exemplifies the best of traditional political cartoons as well as breaking new ground.”

Telnaes won the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning in 2001.  She was the second woman to win that award.  Signe Wilkinson won in 1992.  Telnaes and Wilkinson are the only two women to win the Pulitzer Award.

Telnaes, a graduate of the California Institute of the Arts, began her career in animation at studios in Los Angeles, London, New York, and Taipei.  She transitioned to become a show designer for Walt Disney Imagineering.  She shifted to editorial cartooning when she was inspired to engage in social commentary during Clarence Thomas’ Supreme Court confirmation hearings.  She is now a fierce advocate for freedom of speech and her editorial cartoons frequently address this plus all civil liberties and women’s rights.  Her drawing style is notable for its graceful lines and spot color.

Ann Telnaes’ still and animated cartoons may be seen online at the Washington Post (  Current and past print cartoons may be searched at The Cartoonist Group ( and Telnaes’ own site offers links to cartoons and more:

Art available upon request.

Media Contact:

Sara Thaves

Cartoonist Group


Source: Cartoonist Group


Categories: Women's Issues, Cartoons, Media and News

Tags: Ann Telnaes, cartoonist, editorial cartoon, political cartoon, Pulitzer Prize, Reuben Award, women's accomplishments, women's rights

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