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Is Winning the Nobel A Crime?

Of course, it's not. But when Boris Pasternak won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1958, the communist regime of the Soviet Union refused to allow him to accept the prize and travel to Stockholm. Cartoonist Bill Mauldin, best known for his extraordinary World War II cartoons, won the Pulitzer Prize for his 1958 cartoon "I Won the Nobel Prize for Literature. What Was Your Crime?"

Bill Mauldin, artist. 'I Won the Nobel Prize for Literature. What Was Your Crime?,' 1958. Bill Mauldin, 'Star Spangled Banter, [cover]' 1944

A tribute to Mauldin (1921-2003), "Bill Mauldin: Beyond Willie and Joe" features a selection of original cartoons spanning the artist's remarkable career and draws exclusively from the collections of the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress. Maudlin was a sergeant during the war, and he created his characters Willie and Joe for the 45th Division News in 1940, extended to the Mediterranean edition of the Stars and Stripes in November 1943. Mauldin officially transferred to the Mediterranean edition of Stars and Stripes early in 1944, and his editor arranged for syndication by United Feature Service as Up Front at the same time. He won his first Pulitzer for cartooning in 1945.

This cartoon is from the papers of Bill Mauldin, which he donated to the Library of Congress in 1975, although his career as a cartoonist continued until 1992. More than 1,700 of his cartoon drawings from 1939 to 1965 are available in the Prints and Photographs Division. Information is available through the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog. The Library relies on gifts from such important editorial cartoonists and collectors as Bill Maudlin, Pat Oliphant, Edmund Valtman, Herb Block, Ann Telnaes, Art Wood, Erwin Swann and Walt Kelly to document American history and society in the 20th century.

Many of the Library's most popular exhibitions and special presentations have been supported by the Swann Foundation, including "Bill Mauldin: Beyond Willie and Joe." You can access all of them at Swann Foundation home page.

A. Bill Mauldin, artist. "I Won the Nobel Prize for Literature. What Was Your Crime?," 1958. Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction Information: Reproduction No.: LC-USZ62-116324 (b&w film copy neg.), LC-DIG-ppmsca-03231 (digital file from original), CD 1 - Mauldin, no. 514 (B size). Copyright 1958 by Bill Mauldin. Reproduced with Permission of the Estate of William Mauldin.

B. Bill Mauldin, "Star Spangled Banter" [cover], 1944, Army Times Publishing Co. reproduction information: LC-DIG-ppmsca-03239 (digital file from original); D745.2.M33 1944 cover.

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