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Joel Pett


Four-time Pulitzer finalist and 2000 Pulitzer prize winner Joel Pett was editorial cartoonist at the Lexington Herald-Leader from April, 1984 until July, 2023. His sharp-edged cartoons have appeared in publications worldwide, including the Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, Le Monde, USA Today and the Katmandu Times.

Other media credits include France 24 TV, NPR’s All Things Considered, Morning Edition and The World, PBS’ Newshour, MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes, CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper, and magazines: Time, Newsweek, Business Week, Institutional Investor, Spa Finder, Sierra, and MAD.

Pett also received the 1999 and 2023 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards, and five Global Media Awards for cartoons on population issues, as well as an Emmy for television commentary. He is a past president of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists, a past Pulitzer juror, has conducted three overseas seminars on free speech at the behest of the U.S. State Department, and is a board member of Cartoonists Rights Network International. Pett’s iconic climate-change drawing, “What if it’s a hoax?” is believed to be the most widely-circulated editorial cartoon of the internet era.

A sometime stand-up comic, Pett has shared his blend of deceptively simple and provocative humor at dozens of venues, including the Newseum in Washington, D.C., Boston’s John F. Kennedy Library, Indiana University, Whitman College, Ohio State University, Brandeis University and the Women’s Club of Dallas.


Instagram: @joelpettcartoons

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