Telling Kentucky's Story

Pulitzer Centennial Events

"Sunday with Joel" on July 17th at Murray State University was a successful collaboration between the Kentucky Humanities Council, MSU's College of Humanities & Fine Arts, MSU's Town & Gown program, and MSU's NPR radio station WKMS. Held at the Wrather Auditorium on campus, an audience of more than 50 community members viewed a traveling art display of 2000 Pulitzer Prize winning editorial cartoonist, Joel Pett, followed by Mr. Pett's reflections on his career, the impact of the Pulitzer on his life, and the current landscape of editorial cartooning. Mr. Pett also answered questions from the audience and joined everyone at a post-event reception. The following evening, Mr. Pett gave the convocation speech at the Governor's Scholars Program, also being held at MSU. More than 350 rising seniors from across the Commonwealth participated in the GSP program which is a 5-week summer residential program for :the best and brightest" high school students in Kentucky. In addition to hearing Mr. Pett's speech, students viewed the traveling art display and talked personally with Mr. Pett after his speaking engagement was complete. Per Mr. Pett, "...such energy...laughing, screaming, cheering...signed and drew goon-o-graphs for nearly an hour after!"

Event Photo Album


Joel Pett - Biography

Joel Pett was born in Bloomington, Indiana, 1953. He lived in Ibadan, Nigeria, 1959-1964. He has traveled in over thirty foreign countries on five continents. His college major at Indiana was French. He freelanced for nine years before joining Lexington Herald-Leader in 1984. He joined USA Today as contributing cartoonist in 2002. He is a 3-time finalist for Pulitzer Prize for cartooning, and a winner in 2000. He received the Robert F Kennedy Journalism Award in 1999. Other awards include the Population Institute Global Award Winner in 1985. He is the past president of Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. He has led U.S. State Department cartooning workshops in Cameroun (2000) and Bulgaria (2005). He has been a board member of Cartoonists Rights Network International. His proudest non-cartooning accomplishments: college intramural golf title, shutting out a University of Kentucky player in a game of HORSE, two-second quarry-frisbee-grabbing cameo on TNT. Embarrassments: endless

His cartoons have appeared in hundreds of newspapers and magazines nationwide, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The Philadelphia Daily News, The Boston Globe, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, USA Today, Chicago Sun-Times, George, Business Week, Ms. and Discover.

Below are five pieces of Pett's artwork that were part of his winning submission for the Pulitzer Prize.