SANTA FE, NM — Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Bill Mauldin has received one of the nation’s highest honors in being featured on a U.S. postage stamp. The 44-cents stamp was dedicated at the New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe, NM, and went on sale nationwide March 31, 2010.
During World War II, Mauldin’s cartoons, appearing in Stars and Stripes, made him a hero to many in the military. His sympathy for “dogfaces,” the slang term for soldiers in the infantry, was clearly expressed through his characters Willie and Joe, who gave their military audiences a hearty laugh and civilians an idea of what life was like for soldiers.
In 1945 Mauldin won the first of his two Pulitzers “for distinguished service as a cartoonist” and the Allied high command awarded him its Legion of Merit. His illustrated memoir, Up Front, was a bestseller. That same year, his “dogface” Willie appeared on the cover of Time.
In 1958, he took a job as a cartoonist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the following year he won a second Pulitzer for his cartoon portraying Boris Pasternak, author of Doctor Zhivago, as a Soviet prisoner.
“In a very real way, Bill Mauldin chronicled the path taken by the Greatest Generation — a generation that spoke, not with pompous words, but through noble deeds,” said Mickey Barnett, member of the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors. “As we honor him, we honor that generation and all that it did for our country.”
Joining Barnett to unveil the stamp were Santa Fe, NM, Mayor David Cross, New Mexico History Museum Director Dr. Frances Levine, U.S. Postal Service Vice President for Government Relations and Public Policy Marie Therese Dominguez, author Todd DePastino, Mauldin’s biographer, and Bruce Mauldin, one of Mauldin’s seven sons.
“Our father was fiercely protective of Willie and Joe, and was never completely comfortable with the notoriety that they brought him,” said Nat Mauldin, another of Mauldin’s sons. “As a result, he tended to shy away from tributes involving his work. But this is different. It’s a wonderful honor, and he would have been very proud.”
“The men and women of New Mexico who served in World War II were the kinds of people Bill Mauldin honored in his work,” said Levine. “They were, most of them, ordinary people who became extraordinary heroes and, in too many cases, gave their lives. Mauldin taught us the importance of remembering those ‘ordinary’ people when telling our history.”
U.S. Postal Service art director Terry McCaffrey chose to honor Mauldin through a combination of photography and an example of Mauldin’s art. The photo of Mauldin is by John Phillips, a photographer for Life magazine; it was taken in Italy on Dec. 31, 1943. Mauldin’s cartoon, showing his characters Willie and Joe, is used courtesy of the 45th Infantry Division Museum in Oklahoma City, OK.
How to Order the First-Day-of-Issue Postmark
Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at their local Post Office, at The Postal Store website at www.usps.com/shop or by calling 800-STAMP-24. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes to themselves or others, and place them in a larger envelope addressed to:
Bill Mauldin Stamp
120 South Federal Place
Santa Fe, NM 87501-9998
After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark. All orders must be postmarked by May 31, 2010.
How to Order First-Day Covers
Stamp Fulfillment Services also offers first-day covers for new stamp issues and Postal Service stationery items postmarked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic Catalog. Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-STAMP-24 or writing to:
U.S. Postal Service
PO Box 219014
Kansas City, MO 64121-9014
There are four philatelic products available for this stamp issue:
466061, First-Day Cover, $0.82
466065, Digital Color Postmark, $1.50
466091, Ceremony Program, $6.95
466099, Digital Color Postmark Keepsake, $10.95
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.