Kevin Kallaugher, better known as KAL, is the 2015 winner of the Herblock Prize, among the most prestigious awards for editorial cartooning. Awarded annually since 2004 by the Herb Block foundation, it aims "to encourage editorial cartooning as an essential tool for preserving the rights of the American people through freedom of speech and the right of expression."
KAL's portfolio, including cartoons that appeared in The Sun and The Economist, "impressed the judges with his ability to jump between macro international policy issues to Baltimore mayor's stonewalling about the accuracy of its speed cameras," according to a news release from the foundation. "Like Herblock, KAL is a committed defender of civil liberties. His full-page cartoon on Edward Snowden is a minor masterpiece. His artwork, still traditional ink on paper, remains strong in his fourth decade of cartooning. He is a master of caricature. Whether single panel, circular, or multi-panel, his cartoons are clear, thoughtful, forceful and in the best tradition of Herblock."
Block, who died in 2001, was among the most celebrated American editorial cartoonists. In his long career, mostly at the Washington Post, he won three Pulitzer prizes for editorial cartooning and shared a fourth for public service for his contributions to the paper's Watergate coverage.
KAL has drawn cartoons for The Sun for more than 20 years and for The Economist for nearly 40, and his works have appeared in more than 100 publications worldwide, earning him numerous international honors. This year, in addition to the Herblock award, KAL won the Grand Prix for cartoon of the year in Europe from Press Cartoon Europe for a piece about the Vatican's tentative outreach toward gays under Pope Francis. Next month, he will receive a lifetime achievement award from the Creative Alliance in Baltimore.