Herbert Block, born in Chicago on October 13, 1909, began his career as a cartoonist at age 19 with the Chicago’s Daily News as a staff cartoonist. His political cartooning began with the events of Adolf Hitler in Germany. Additionally, Herbert Block, also known as Herblock, his pen name generated from his father’s suggestion to combine his first and last name, also spoke out against America’s isolationist policy in the 1940s through his cartoons.
In 1942 Block received his first Pulitzer Prize. Two years later he began working for the Washington Post. As one of the only cartoonists to depict the actions of Joseph McCarthy negatively, Block received his second Pulitzer Prize for his cartooning at the Washington Post in 1952. It is his work published by the Washington Post regarding McCarthy and Block’s coined term McCarthyism, that is recognized by New York University as one of the 100 greatest journalist pieces of the 20th century.
Throughout his 60 year career as a cartoonist, Block produced cartoons critical of an array of government officials and their policies. Most notable though are the hundreds of cartoons criticizing McCarthy. During a time when few were denouncing his policies, election habits, and overall strong accusations of communism, Block’s cartoons represented his strong dislike for McCarthy.