Pulitzer-Prize winning editorial cartoonist Clay Bennett will present this year’s annual Connor Society Lecture on Tuesday, September 27 at 7 p.m. in the University Center Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.
Bennett’s presentation is entitled “Some Offense Intended: The Strife and Times of Editorial Cartoonist Clay Bennett” and will include samples of his work along with discussion of the pains and pleasures of life as an editorial cartoonist.
In addition to being awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2002, Bennett has been a finalist five other years. His numerous other awards include the United Nations Political Cartoon Award—Citation of Excellence (three times), the Thomas Nast Award from the Overseas Press Club of America (twice), and the National Headliner Award for Editorial Cartoons (three times). He has also been received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists, the John Fischetti Editorial Cartoon Competition, the National Cartoonists Society, the Free Press Association, the Scripps Howard Foundation, and the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards.
In 2001 he was named Editorial Cartoonist of the Year by Editor and Publisher magazine, and in 2004 he received the Grand Prize from the National Population Cartoon Contest. He is also Past President of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists.
A graduate of the University of North Alabama where he received degrees in art and history, Bennett began work as an editorial cartoonist on his college paper. His first professional stint in this field was with the St. Petersburg Times (1981-1994). He later worked for The Christian Science Monitor (1997-2007). In 2007 he joined the staff of the Chattanooga Times Free Press. His work is also distributed internationally through the Washington Post Writers Group.
The event is sponsored by the Connor Society and the Connor Professorship of American Literature. The Connor Society was founded to honor former UTC professor George Coleman Connor and has as its primary goal hosting annual events that feature “individuals prominent in those field of endeavor to which George Connor was passionately devoted—literature and language, the theatre, journalism, education, politics and the humanities.”