For more than three decades, political cartoonist Steve Kelley has devoted his attention to public officials the way the radiator grille of a tractor-trailer might devote its attention to June bugs. He has delighted readers by consistently consigning office-holders to the one fate they fear most: that of not being taken seriously. His political cartoons have appeared in Time, Newsweek, US News & World Report, Forbes, Playboy, The Chicago Tribune, USA Today, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post among others. He is a regular feature on many news websites, including Townhall and National Public Radio.
An honors graduate of Dartmouth College, Kelley began his career in 1981 at The San Diego Union-Tribune. In 2002, he moved to The Times-Picayune in New Orleans. Ten years later, Kelley was among the many staff members laid off as the newspaper transitioned to a limited-publication model. His cartoons remain in syndication to more than 100 newspapers by Creators Syndicate.
"Syndication is such a godsend," Kelley notes. "Without it, I'd have no way to infuriate the people of Wahpeton, North Dakota."
His work has won numerous awards, including six first-place finishes from the California Newspaper Publishers Association. In 2001, he won first-place awards from the CNPA, the Los Angeles Press Club and the Best of the West competition. That same year, he won the National Headliner Award. Kelley won the 2007 Scripps Howard National Journalism Award for editorial cartooning and served a Montgomery Fellowship at Dartmouth College. More recently, Pelican Publishing tapped Kelley to edit the 2012 edition of its poplular Best Editorial Cartoons of the Year series.
Along with fellow cartoonist Jeff Parker, Kelley created and co-produces the popular comic strip Dustin, distributed to more than 320 newspaper clients by King Features Syndicate. Launched in 2010, the strip won Best Newspaper Comic Strip from the National Cartoonist Society in its first year of publication.
A veteran of seven appearances on The Tonight Show, Kelley is a popular comedian and speaker for corporate and professional groups.
Kelley is the father of one son, Hayden, about whom he brags without regard to the listener's interest.