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Garretson Beekman Trudeau

Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Francis Berger Trudeau, Jr. and Jean Douglas Trudeau
Husband of Jane Pauley
Half brother of <private> (Trudeau) and <private> Fenn (Trudeau)

Managed by: Private User
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Immediate Family

About Garry Trudeau

Garretson Beekman "Garry" Trudeau (born July 21, 1948) is an American cartoonist, best known for the Doonesbury comic strip.

Background and education

Trudeau was born in New York City, the son of Jean Douglas (née Moore) and Francis Berger Trudeau. He is the great-grandson of Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau, who created the world-famous Adirondack Cottage Sanitorium for the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis at Saranac Lake, New York State. Edward was succeeded by his son Francis and grandson Francis Jr. The latter founded the Trudeau Institute at Saranac Lake, with which his son Garry retains a connection.

Raised in Saranac Lake, Garry Trudeau attended St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire. He enrolled in Yale University in 1966 and later became a member of Scroll and Key. Trudeau was confident that his major would end up being theatre, but he discovered a greater interest in art design. A drawing by Trudeau of famous Yale quarterback Brian Dowling for the Yale Daily News led to the creation of a comic strip for the paper, Bull Tales, the progenitor of Doonesbury. As a Yale undergrad, Trudeau was also the Editor-in-Chief of The Yale Record, the nation's oldest college humor magazine. Trudeau continued his studies with postgraduate work at the Yale School of Art, earning his M.F.A. in graphic design in 1973.

Creative works

In 1970, Trudeau's creation of Doonesbury was syndicated by the newly formed Universal Press Syndicate. Today Doonesbury is syndicated to almost 1,400 newspapers worldwide and is accessible online in association with Slate Magazine at

In 1975, he became the first comic strip artist to win a Pulitzer, traditionally awarded to editorial-page cartoonists. He was also a Pulitzer finalist in 1990. He was nominated for an Oscar in 1977 in the category of Animated Short Film, for A Doonesbury Special, in collaboration with John Hubley and Faith Hubley. A Doonesbury Special eventually won the Cannes Film Festival Jury Special Prize in 1978. Other awards include the National Cartoonist Society Newspaper Comic Strip Award in 1994, and the Reuben Award in 1995.

He was made a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1993. Wiley Miller, fellow comic-strip artist responsible for Non Sequitur, called Trudeau "far and away the most influential editorial cartoonist in the last 25 years."

In addition to his work on Doonesbury, Trudeau has teamed with Elizabeth Swados and written plays, such as Rap Master Ronnie and Doonesbury: A Musical Comedy. In 1988, Trudeau joined forces with director Robert Altman for the HBO miniseries Tanner '88 and the Sundance Channel miniseries sequel Tanner on Tanner in 2004.

In 1996, Newsweek and the Washington Post speculated that Trudeau wrote the novel Primary Colors, which was later revealed to have been written by Joe Klein.

Private life and public appearances

Trudeau married journalist Jane Pauley in 1980. They have three children, Ross, Rachel, and Thomas, and live in New York City.

Trudeau maintains a low personal profile. A rare and early appearance on television was as a guest on To Tell the Truth in 1971, where all but one of the panelists failed to guess his identity.

Trudeau cooperated extensively with Wired magazine for a 2000 profile, "The Revolution Will be Satirized." He later spoke with the writer of that article, Edward Cone, for a 2004 newspaper column in the Greensboro, NC News & Record, about the war wounds suffered by Doonesbury character B.D., and did a 2006 Q&A at Cone's personal blog about his new site, The Sandbox.

Trudeau granted an interview with Rolling Stone in 2004 in which he discussed his time at Yale University, which he attended two years behind George W. Bush. He granted another Rolling Stone interview in 2010.

In 2006, The Washington Post printed an article that writer Gene Weingarten called, inaccurately, the "first extensive profile of him (Trudeau) in the 36 years since he began the comic strip." He has also appeared on the Charlie Rose television program, and at signings for his Doonesbury book about B.D.'s struggle with injuries received during the second Gulf War.

On December 6, 2010, Trudeau appeared on The Colbert Report on Comedy Central to speak about 40: A Doonesbury retrospective.

Criticisms and controversies

In August 2001, Trudeau fell for a report by the fictional "Lovenstein Institute" that stated that President George W. Bush had the lowest IQ (91) of any president in the past 50 years, and that former president Bill Clinton's IQ was exactly twice that of Bush. After mentioning it in Doonesbury, Trudeau made a public retraction.

In 2004, Trudeau made a widely-circulated offer of a $10,000 reward (in the form of a gift to the USO in the winner's name) for proof that George W. Bush fulfilled his military duties in the 1970s. (See George W. Bush military service controversy for more complete coverage). No one has collected on the offer.


Non-Doonesbury publications

Hitler Moves East: A Graphic Chronicle, 1941-43 (with David Levinthal), Sheed, Andrews and McMeel, 1977. Library of Congress 76-52888. The cover shows two Wehrmacht motorcyclists. The book relates the story of Nazi Germany's Army Group Centre on the Eastern Front through archival photos and new photography of model soldiers. ISBN 0-8362-0708-4

Finding Your Religion: When the Faith You Grew Up With Has Lost Its Meaning, by Scotty McLennan. Trudeau wrote the introduction and drew the cover cartoon.'s The Sandbox: Dispatches from Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, Andrews McMeel Publishing (October 1, 2007), ISBN 0740769456 ISBN 978-0740769450. Blogs by soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Garry Trudeau's Timeline

July 21, 1948
New York, New York, United States