What started as a way to poke fun at teachers and staff at his high school has turned into a Pulitzer Prize winning career for editorial cartoonist David Horsey.
“I’ve drawn ever since I was little,” said Horsey, 59. “I started doing editorial cartoons for my high school paper, actually a lot of it was making fun of PE teachers and lunchroom staff but, some politics.”
Horsey attended Ingraham High School in Seattle and the University of Washington before generating national notoriety with his three-decade career — and counting — at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which has now morphed into the seattlepi.com. Horsey received his first Pulitzer in 1999, when many of his cartoons focused on the Monica Lewinsky scandal, and again in 2003, when he often humorously ripped the Bush administration.
But did you know that Horsey’s journalism career started here in Redmond?
Horsey returned to his roots at last Saturday’s Redmond Historical Society meeting, where he spoke about the start of his journalistic career at the Sammamish Valley News.
After receiving a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Washington in 1975, Horsey took a job as one of three young reporters at the Sammamish Valley News, the predecessor of the Redmond Reporter. His multi-talented news coverage within only three months at the paper sparked a long and rewarding career in journalism.
“It was an important moment for me as a reporter,” Horsey said of his stint at the Sammamish Valley News. “We were doing everything — cartooning, writing stories, and editorials.”
During the heavy rain storms of the winter of 1976, Duvall and Carnation were flooded and Horsey said he and his colleagues “covered the floods like crazy.” He won an award that year for best spot reporting of any publication in Washington state. That got the attention of an upstart paper in Bellevue at the Journal-American, where he covered Redmond City Hall as part of three years of work at the newspaper.
Horsey’s talented political cartoons earned him his most successful job yet as an editorial cartoonist at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in 1979. Two years ago the Seattle P-I ended its print edition and went to a web-only format. Horsey still continues to publish his work for the new-age news medium and his work is syndicated through Hearst News, which has a network of more than 200 newspapers and online news organizations.
While Horsey has made it big in his career, he doesn’t forget where it all began.
“What I miss and what makes me think about the Sammamish Valley News and the Journal American is the connection to community,” said Horsey, who earned a master’s degree from the University of Kent in England in 1986 and later received an honorary doctorate degree from Seattle University in 2004. “There are significant benefits to working for an online news operation, there are so many new things it can do but, I no longer feel a connection.”