October 10, 2001

HERBERT L. BLOCK, the cartoonist known as Herblock, never changed his simple, almost crude draftsmanship after his first editorial cartoon, on an environmental theme, appeared in the Chicago Daily News in 1929.

He never changed his basic viewpoint, broadly humanitarian, liberal and biased toward the tormented against the tormentor, until his last cartoon appeared, on President Bush's Russia policy, in the Washington Post Aug. 26.

What did change with the times - the secret of his staying power in nine successive decades (you do the math on your fingers) - was the subject matter.

Down the road at the Post from 1946 until this year, he helped make that newspaper what it is today by being relevant, every day.

That man of many pictorial ideas never drew on the past for his point. Every Herblock cartoon was contemporary. His death Sunday at 91 ended one of the great careers in the journalism of our time.

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