Oliphant (b. 24 July 1935 in Adelaide, Australia) is described by the New York Times as “the most influential editorial cartoonist now working”. His trademark is a small penguin character named Punk, who is often seen making a comment about the subject of the panel.
Oliphant’s career, which spans over fifty years, began in 1952 as a copyboy with the Adelaide News. He worked as staff cartoonist for the Adelaide Advertiser until 1964, when he moved to the United States in 1964 to take up a position with the The Denver Post. His strip was nationally syndicated and internationally syndicated in 1965. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning in 1967 for his 1 February 1966 cartoon They Won’t Get Us To The Conference Table … Will They?. Oliphant moved to the now defunct Washington Star for six years, until the paper folded in 1981.
Oliphant’s work has appeared in several exhibitions, most notably at the National Portrait Gallery. He has also crafted a series of small sculptures based on his caricatures of various political figures, which have been displayed alongside his drawings in some exhibitions.
In addition to winning the Pulitzer Prize, Oliphant won the National Cartoonist Society Editorial Cartoon Award seven times in 1971, 1973, 1974, 1984, 1989, 1990, and 1991, the Reuben Award in 1968 and 1972 and the Thomas Nast Prize in 1992.
Oliphant is the nephew of Sir Mark Oliphant, the Australian physicist who worked on the Manhattan Project during World War II, and later became Governor of South Australia.