TOM TOLES Biography - Other artists & entretainers


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Name: Tom Gregory Toles                                                               
Born: 22 October 1951                                                                 
Thomas Gregory Toles (born October 22, 1951) is a United States political             
cartoonist. He is the winner of the 1990 Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning.     
Similar to Oliphant's use of his character Punk, Toles also tends to include a       
small doodle, usually a small caricature of himself at his desk, in the margin       
of his strip.                                                                         
Toles left The Buffalo News in 2002, accepting an offer from The Washington Post     
to replace Herblock, their late, legendary cartoonist, and is under contract by       
Universal Press Syndicate. Part of his acceptance of his new job required him to     
give up his cartoon strip Randolph Itch 2 a.m., a one-panel cartoon based on         
Toles' thoughts while battling insomnia. Toles was replaced at the Buffalo News       
by Adam Zyglis.                                                                       
His cartoons appear in more than 200 newspapers throughout the country and on         
several websites. He received the National Cartoonist Society Editorial Cartoon       
Award for 2003. Toles and his wife Gretchen have two children: Amanda and Seth.       
A cartoon published January 29, 2006 attracted the ire of the Pentagon in the         
form of a protest letter signed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. With regard to         
some recent assessments of the United States Army, the cartoon depicted the Army     
as a quadruple amputee soldier with a doctor resembling Secretary of Defense         
Donald Rumsfeld, declaring the Army "battle hardened". Though the subject of         
Toles' mockery was Rumsfeld, the military stated, "Using the likeness of a           
service member who has lost his arms and legs in war as the central theme of a       
cartoon [is] beyond tasteless." Toles was quoted responding, "I think it's a         
little bit unfair in their reading of the cartoon to imply that is what it's         
about." Asked whether he was offended by the cartoon, Dave Autry, deputy             
communications director for Disabled American Veterans said, "Certainly not."         
Other Toles defenders were less polite and more scornful; AMERICAblog's John         
Aravosis wrote, "Now that the Joint Chiefs have addressed the insidious threat       
cartoons pose to our troops, perhaps they can move on to less pressing issues         
like getting them their damn body armor."                                             
On February 14, 2006 Tom Tomorrow made a cartoon comparing the reactions to the       
Muhammad cartoons to the Tom Toles cartoons pointing out the double standards.       
On March 15, 2007, Toles published a cartoon showing a letter critical of             
General Peter Pace, who had recently referred to homosexual acts as "immoral"         
and compared homosexuality to adultery. Toles' letter, clearly written to mimic       
the style of the letter he received from the Joint Chiefs, read:                     
To Peter Pace, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff                                       
I was extremely disappointed to hear you question the morality of some of the         
men and women who serve this country in uniform, many of whom have suffered           
traumatic and life-altering wounds. I find it beyond tasteless.                       
These are brave men and women with a sense of purpose and self-commitment from       
the cities and farmlands of this great nation. I believe you have done a             
disservice to your institution and your reputation by using such a callous           
description of those who have volunteered to defend their nation.                     
Your pen pal, Tom Toles                                                               
The author's note at the bottom of the cartoon reads, "P.S. I trust this will         
sound familiar."