Born in 1968, in South Florida, Charlos Gary always dreamed of becoming a cartoonist. One of seven children raised by his parents in an inner-city section of Orlando, he knew at an early age that his artistic ability could become a way out of poverty.
Discouragement from teachers and classmates didn't stop him from believing. His first cartoon, a short-lived comic strip called State U., appeared in the student newspaper at Ohio State University. However, it wasn't until two years later at the University of Toledo's paper, The Collegian, that he committed himself to becoming a serious cartoonist.
After graduation in 1995, his first professional political cartoon appeared in the (Elmira, N.Y.) Star-Gazette, where he got started as a graphic artist.
In 1997, Gary moved to Chicago, where he split his time between drawing cartoons and creating graphics for the (Arlington Heights, Ill.) Daily Herald. His work there earned him several awards and honors, including a Pulitzer Prize nomination in 1999.
Later that year, Gary began working for the Chicago Tribune as a graphic artist. His cartooning talent didn't go unnoticed in the newsroom, and within two years, he created a single-panel strip called Working It Out, which ran weekly in the Tribune's business section.
Besides the Tribune, Gary's cartoons have appeared in publications such as Newsweek, Newsweek International, Emerge Magazine and Playboy. Awards include The Monarch Award for African-American leadership and the Purple Reflection Award presented by the Chicago Council of Negro Women, both in 1999.
Gary currently lives in Chicago with his fianc'e, Agustina. He is a serious jazz fan, and his personal heroes include Malcolm X, Nelson Mandela and his mother, Julia.
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African American Cartoonists
Profile Date June 2003