Cartoonist Killed in Car Crash

Kudzu creator Doug Marlette dead at 57
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 11, 2007 4:30 AM CDT
This undated photo provided by North Carolina Festival of the Book shows Doug Marlette. Marlette, a Pulitzer-winning cartoonist and North Carolina native who once worked at The Charlotte Observer, who...   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – The Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist and creator of Kudzu died yesterday when a car he was riding in hydroplaned in heavy rain and crashed into a tree in Mississippi. Doug Marlette, 57,  worked for a series of newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and was known for his dead-on caricatures and cheeky challenges to those in power.

The Kudzu comic strip was once syndicated in 300 newspapers. One of Marlette's best-known editorial cartoons is of a bald eagle shedding a tear over the Columbia shuttle tragedy. Marlette, who liked to be known as an "equal opportunity offender," once called controversial cartoons the "acid test of the First Amendment."