Background about Dwane Powell
1944, while his father was fighting Hitler in the Battle of the
Bulge, Drexel Dwane Powell Jr was born in Lake Village, Ark.
After returning from the war, his dad moved the family to Mc-Gehee,
Ark., to grow cotton, rice and soybeans and to raise an eclectic
mix of whiteface Herefords, Brahma bulls and Angus cows.
Powell was soon doing all the things expected of farm boys: mowing
the three-acre lawn when he was old enough to chin the mower handles,
driving a small tractor, helping his dad shovel rice levies and
herding the stubborn cows around on his quarter horse, March.
Graduating from high school in 1962 with the same 60 kids he'd
started first grade with, Powell went to the University of
Arkansas at Monticello. While browsing in the stationery department
of The Advance Monticellonian with the intent of purchasing paper
for an English theme, he was approached by the editor, Frank Jackson.
Powell had a reputation as a prolific doodler, leaving stacks
of napkin drawings all around campus.
Jackson coaxed Powell to try his hand at political cartoons, and
his first attempt was picked up and published on the op-ed page
of the statewide Arkansas Gazette.
He drew one cartoon a week during his last year of college, finishing
with a degree in agri-business in 1969. Powell turned the weekly
exposure the Gazette had afforded him into a full-time job at
the Hot Springs Sentinel Record.
While there he married the former Jan Lovell, and they moved on
to San Antonio in 1972, where Powell worked as the political cartoonist/staff
artist for the San Antonio Light.
Then he read an article about the retirement of Cincinnati Enquirer
editorial cartoonist L.D. Warren and fired off a portfolio. After
a brief stint at the Enquirer, Powell joined The Raleigh News
& Observer in 1975. He drew there until 2009.
At The N&0, Powell won the Overseas Press Club award
for Excellence in Cartooning and the national Headliners
Club award for Outstanding Editorial Cartoons. He was also
named Distinguished Alumnus at his alma mater. He has published
three collections of his work, along with a book of Jesse Helms
quotes containing his cartoons.
Powell's cartoons also were an important element in The News &
Observer's Boss Hog series, which won the 1995 Pulitzer Prize
for Public Service.
Powell lives with his wife and daughter
Dwane Powell's Editorial Cartoons
are distributed to newspapers by Creators
E-mail Dwane Powell.