Cartoonist Marlette dead at 57

Doug Marlette died Tuesday in a car accident. He was an editorial cartoonist, the creator of the “Kudzu” comic strip, and a novelist. He won a Pulitzer Prize for his editorial cartoons back in 1988.

Born in Greensboro, Marlette grew up in North Carolina, Mississippi and Florida. He graduated from Florida State in 1971 and joined the Observer the next year. After more than a decade in Charlotte, he moved to the Atlanta Constitution before stops at New York Newsday and the Tallahassee Democrat.

“Cartoons are windows into the human condition,” Marlette said in 2006 after joining the staff at the Tulsa World. “It’s about life.”

Marlette was a distinguished visiting professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s journalism school, and was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in 2002.

Robert E. Lorton III, publisher and president of the Tulsa World, told the newspaper’s Web site that Marlette’s death was “a great tragedy, not only for the Tulsa World family, but for all who knew Doug.”

“He was more than a great cartoonist and author, he was a tremendous human being,” Lorton said. “Words cannot express the grief that we are all feeling today.”

Marlette’s website has a pretty good overview of his work.

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