May 29, 2005
Biography of Dwane Powell, Editorial Cartoonist for The News and Observer
Dwane Powell was born in Lake Village, Arkansas in 1944 and grew up on a farm just outside the metropolis of McGehee, Arkansas, pop. 3,400. Graduating from High School in 1962 with the same group of 60 kids he started first grade with, Powell went to the University of Arkansas at Monticello. A fullback on the football team, he was eventually sidelined with a demolished shoulder.
Powell's college years were erratic. After flunking out once, enlisting in the Army National Guard and working in his dad's business, he went back to college on probation with renewed determination. While browsing in the stationery department of The Advance Monticellonian with the intent of purchasing paper for an English theme, he was approached by the Editor, Frank Jackson. Powell had a reputation as a prolific doodler, leaving stacks of napkin drawings all around campus. Jackson coaxed Powell to try his hand at political cartoons, and his first attempt was picked up and published on the op-ed page of the statewide Arkansas Gazette. He drew one cartoon a week during his last year of college, graduating with a degree in Agri-Business in 1969. Powell turned the weekly exposure the Gazette had afforded him into a full-time job as a reporter/cartoonist/photographer/flunkie at the Hot Springs Sentinel Record.
Moving to the San Antonio Light as a staff artist/edtorial cartoonist, his next stop was a full time editorial cartoonist gig at the Cincinnati Enquirer until editorial differences prompted a move back south to the more liberal News and Observer in Raleigh, N.C.
Powell and his wife, Jan, have a daughter, Devon, class of 2005 at The University of Vermont. Powell has won the Overseas Press Club Citation for Excellence in Cartooning, the National Headliners Club award for Outstanding Editorial Cartoons, and was named Distinguished Alumnus at his alma mater. He has published three collections of his work, along with a book of Jesse Helms quotes containing his cartoons and his cartoons were an important element in the News and Observer's Boss Hog series, which won the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. Nationally syndicated by Creators Syndicate in Los Angeles, his work can now be viewed on line through Nando net, or The News and Observer online. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .