- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 9, 2001

Herbert L. Block, the Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist known as "Herblock" whose acid pen drove two angry presidents to cancel their subscriptions to The Washington Post, is dead at 91.
Mr. Block died of pneumonia Sunday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington.
"Herblock was the greatest cartoonist of all time," said Donald E. Graham, chairman and chief executive of The Washington Post Co., which had employed Mr. Block since 1946.
Mr. Block's cartoons won three Pulitzer Prizes, and he shared in a fourth for the Post's Watergate coverage. His work was syndicated in more than 300 newspapers.
He put on numerous shows of his work and published a dozen books of his cartoons, plus an autobiography, "Herblock: A Cartoonist's Life."
A retrospective of his work went on display last year at the Library of Congress.
Mr. Block's career began in 1929, and lasted through skewerings of every president from Herbert Hoover to George W. Bush. He never retired. His last cartoon appeared in August, after which he went on vacation and fell ill, Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt said.
Although often acerbic in black-and-white, Mr. Block was personally gentle. A friend, cartoonist Chuck Jones, once described him as "a tiger posing as a possum."
Katharine Graham, then the Post's publisher, remarked on Mr. Block's 50th anniversary at the newspaper: "My mother had a saying, 'Any man worth marrying is impossible to live with.' Why does this make me think of my glorious life and times with Herblock, one of the greatest ornaments to the Post and to all of journalism?"
His work was known for its liberal slant and biting humor.
From the Depression to Vietnam to the Cold War to Watergate, Mr. Block sprayed ink on nearly every major event and politician of the modern era. His targets included Soviet and Chinese oppression, nuclear weapons, limited voting rights for the District of Columbia, slum housing, campaign fund raising, drunken drivers, the National Rifle Association and racism.
His cartoons describing the Red-baiting tactics used by Sen. Joseph McCarthy, in which he invented the term "McCarthyism," were ranked No. 39 on a 1999 New York University list of the 100 greatest works of journalism of the century.
Few Herblock targets, however, were as favored as Richard Nixon. Mr. Block lambasted Mr. Nixon for using similar tactics to Mr. McCarthy in campaigns for Congress and the vice presidency. In Mr. Block's cartoons, Mr. Nixon was stoop-shouldered with deep-set, malevolent eyes, a five o'clock shadow and, when he was vice president in Dwight Eisenhower's administration, carrying a bloodstained hatchet.
When Mr. Nixon was elected president, Mr. Block gave him a shave out of respect for the office but didn't let up his attacks.

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