Herb Block

herblock-the-black-and-the-white-1024_0.jpgHerb Block is among the world’s best known and most admired political cartoonists. Born on October 13, 1909, the native Chicagoan spent his 72-year career fighting against abuses of the powerful. He began his editorial cartooning career at the Chicago Daily News and NEA Service before landing at The Washington Post in 1946. He wrote a dozen books chronicling the history of America (a third of it, since its Independence!). The U.S. Postal Service commissioned him to design the image for the stamp commemorating the 175th anniversary of the United States Bill of Rights. He received three Pulitzer Prizes and shared a fourth with The Washington Post for his cartoons. He was the recipient of innumerable awards and honorary degrees, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award the government can give. Herb Block was known as a gentle, self-effacing man with a steely resolve to use his work to bring injustices to light.

To learn more about Herb Block’s history...

  • Order the comprehensive book: Herblock: The Life and Work of the Great Political Cartoonist
  • Visit the Library of Congress' Herblock Collection via the Prints & Photographs Online Catalog. Search 18,000 Herblock cartoons by date, subject or caption.
  • In addition, the Library has mounted a series of exhibitions celebrating the cartoonist:
    • Herblock's History: Political Cartoons from the Crash to the Millennium
    • Herblock's Gift: Selections from The Herb Block Foundation Collection
    • Enduring Outrage: Editorial Cartoons by Herblock
    • Herblock!
    • Down to Earth: Herblock and Photographers Observe the Environment
  • The Herblock Gallery is an ongoing space with a series of 10 Herblock cartoons, updated every 6 months
  • To see five decades of his work and long history with The Washington Post, visit Herblock 1909-2001.
  • To learn about Herblock's role in one of America's most historic scandals, read: The Watergate Story
  • To view an article capturing reflections by his fellow cartoonists, visit Herblock Tribute.
  • To view an exhibit from the Portrait Gallery - Herblock's Presidents: "Puncturing Pomposity"
  • To view his obituary from - The New York Times
  • You may also view his biographical material and a wonderful 15 minute documentary on Herb Block on this website.
  • The Stevens Company documentary "Herblock: The Black & The White" is available on HBO.
  • Order an 8 panel Traveling Exhibition of Herblock cartoons on subjects of Education, Civil Rights, Democracy, the Presidency and the Environment and get the accompanying DVD with lesson plans for the classroom.