Don Wright, Editorial Cartoonist With a Skewer for a Pen, Dies at 90

Don Wright, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist whose pointed work punctured duplicity and pomposity and resonated with common-sense readers, died on March 24 at his home in Palm Beach, Fla. He was 90.

His death was confirmed by his wife, Carolyn Wright, a fellow journalist.

In a 45-year career, Mr. Wright drew some 11,000 cartoons for The Miami News, which folded in 1988, and then The Palm Beach Post, where he worked until he retired in 2008. But he reached a readership far beyond Florida: His cartoons appeared in newspapers nationwide through syndication.

Mr. Wright’s readers knew where he stood, and especially what he was against, whether it was the Vietnam War; Israel’s military support for the pro-apartheid regime in South Africa (he depicted a menorah with missiles in place of candles); sexual abuse by clergymen; the John Birch Society, the anti-Communist fringe group; and racial segregationists, notably the violent Ku Klux Klan.

The morning after winning his first Pulitzer, in 1966, Mr. Wright received a telegram from George C. Wallace, the segregationist governor of Alabama. “Sometimes even the meanest cartoonists are unaccountably decorated for their work,” it said. “If the shoe fits, wear it.” Mr. Wright kept the telegram framed in his home.

This cartoon from 1966, during the height of the Cold War, won Mr. Wright the first of his two Pulitzer Prizes.Credit…Don Wright/The Miami News

That first prizewinning cartoon — published during the Cold War, when the world was on tenterhooks fearing nuclear Armageddon — depicted two men in tatters encountering each other on a barren landscape cratered by bombs. “You mean,” one asks the other, “you were just bluffing?”

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