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Kate Salley Palmer was an inadvertent trailblazer. In the early 1970s, she was a freelance artist living in Clemson, South Carolina. Then the nationally televised Watergate hearings took hold of her, and she found herself drawing cartoon after cartoon about the scandal, whose latest developments she followed as religiously as other people follow soap operas. She started selling a few of the cartoons she couldn't stop drawing to whatever local newspapers would buy them. In 1975, The Greenville News hired her part-time. She was, it turned out, that paper's first-ever political cartoonist. By the next year, the News was running her cartoons regularly, making her South Carolina’s first full-time political cartoonist—and, she discovered, one of only two women then employed as full-time political cartoonists in all of North America.


Clemson University Digital Press

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Copyright 2006, Clemson University

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Growing Up Cartoonist in the Baby-Boom South: A Memoir and Cartoon Retrospective