- Sat, 9 Sep 2023 13:54:20 +0330
Stephen Reed Benson (born January 2, 1954 in Sacramento, California) is a Pulitzer Prize winning U.S. editorial cartoonist for The Arizona Republic.
Benson is the grandson of former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and former LDS Church president Ezra Taft Benson.
Benson attended Brigham Young University, from which he graduated cum laude.
He became the cartoonist for the Arizona Republic in 1980.
In the late 1980s he was at first a supporter, then a prominent critic, of Evan Mecham, the first Mormon to be elected governor of Arizona.
Benson's criticism stirred controversy among Arizona's Mormon population, leading some LDS Church members to seek the intervention of Benson's grandfather in the matter; Benson was later relieved of his position on a church council.
Benson moved to the Tacoma Morning News Tribune in 1990,but then returned to the Arizona Republic in 1991.
In 1997, a Benson cartoon used the image of a firefighter carrying a dead child to comment on the death sentence that had just been imposed on Oklahoma City bombing defendant Timothy McVeigh.
Benson forcefully defended his work against some readers' contentions that the cartoon was insensitive.
Benson was awarded the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning, was a Pulitzer finalist in 1984, 1989, 1992, and 1994, and has received a variety of other awards.
He has served as president of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists.
His cartoons have been collected in a number of books.