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ICHS Welcomes Pulitzer Prize Winner Jack Higgins

A group of Immaculate Conception High School art students were treated to visit from Pulitzer Prize winning political and editorial cartoonist Jack Higgins this week. Mr. Higgins spent over an hour with the lucky group of students talking about his inspirations, motivations and the actual process of creating his award winning cartoons for publication. His successful career began in 1981 when he was hired by the Chicago Sun Times, becoming a full-time cartoonist in 1984. By 1986, Jacks work earned him recognition as a Pulitzer Prize finalist, and it took just three more years before Jack was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1989. In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, Higgins has received numerous prestigious awards and honors throughout his career.

Jack Higgins recognized his artistic gift at a very early age, stating by the time he was 5 years old he was drawing at a 12 year old level. As he entered high school, Higgins thought he needed to focus on excelling in the core academic areas but took advantage of opportunities to draw for the school newspaper and yearbook. As an Economics major at The College of Holy Cross in Massachusetts, he continued seeking avenues in which he could continue to enhance his drawing through elective art courses.

Today, Jack begins each day by waking up at approximately 4:30am to read through newspapers to look for ideas and information on politics and current events. In this electronic age where many receive their daily dose of news from the internet, Higgins insisted that newspapers are still a very timely and innovative communication device. When asked by a student if he considered himself a satirist, Higgins responded I do not consider myself a satirist, I use my cartoons as an opportunity to express my exasperation of people or issues. With only approximately 80 political cartoonists in the country today, Higgins recognizes that his job is now considered a luxury for newspaper publications.

A retrospective collection of his work was recently published by Northwestern University Press. My Kind of 'Toon, Chicago Is includes a foreword by Roger Ebert and is filled with approximately 250 of Jack's political cartoons. Before saying good-bye to the ICHS art students, Jack graciously autographed a copy of his book for each of them to remember this very special day.

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