Light & Verity

Doonesbury’s beginnings, half a century ago

The comic strip got its start in the Yale Daily News.

Courtesy G. B. Trudeau ’70, ’73MFA

Courtesy G. B. Trudeau ’70, ’73MFA

View full image

Fifty years ago this fall, a comic strip called Bull Tales turned up in the Yale Daily News. The strip shown here, spoofing the Yale football team, was the first. It appeared on September 30, 1968. Before long, the cartoons became the nationally syndicated strip Doonesbury, which has won a Pulitzer Prize and is still running, half a century later.

We asked G. B. Trudeau ’70, ’73MFA, how his success came about. He was succinct: “I cooked up the first strips on my bed at home before returning to Yale for junior year. The YDN managing editor, Reed Hundt, accepted them because ‘we run pretty much anything.’ A few weeks later I was offered my current job.” His kids, he added, “hate that story.”

The comment period has expired.