Comic Strip / Comics

Who Wrote the Comic Strip Doonesbury?

Doonesbury is one of the most popular comic strips in the world, known for its witty humor and satirical take on current events. But have you ever wondered who the mastermind behind this iconic strip is? In this article, we will explore the life and career of Garry Trudeau, the man behind Doonesbury.

Early Life and Education

Garry Trudeau was born on July 21, 1948, in New York City. He grew up in Saranac Lake, a small town in upstate New York.

From a young age, he showed an interest in drawing and storytelling. He attended Yale University where he majored in English. During his time at Yale, he drew comics for the student newspaper, The Yale Daily News.

Career Beginnings

After graduation, Trudeau worked as an assistant to cartoonist BD (Brian Duffy) who created ‘The Sunshine Boys’. In 1970, he created a comic strip called ‘Bull Tales’ which was published in The Yale Daily News magazine. This was the precursor to Doonesbury.

The Birth of Doonesbury

In 1970, Trudeau’s creation ‘Doonesbury’ debuted in 28 newspapers across America. The comic strip followed the lives of college students and their day-to-day struggles. It quickly gained popularity and became syndicated nationally by Universal Press Syndicate.

Controversy and Successes

Doonesbury wasn’t just popular – it was also controversial. Trudeau often tackled political issues through his characters which led to some newspapers refusing to publish certain strips.

One such incident occurred when a storyline involved a character seeking an abortion – several newspapers refused to run those particular strips. Despite these controversies – or perhaps because of them – Doonesbury continued to grow in popularity. It won Trudeau many awards including a Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning in 1975.

Adaptations and Spin-Offs

Over the years, Doonesbury has been adapted into various forms of media. In 1977, a musical called ‘Rap Master Ronnie’ was created based on the strip.

In 1983, a made-for-television movie called ‘Doonesbury: A Musical Comedy’ aired. Trudeau also wrote a book based on the strip called ’40: A Doonesbury Retrospective’, which was published in 2010.


Garry Trudeau is the creative genius behind one of the most beloved comic strips of all-time – Doonesbury. His wit and satire have entertained and informed readers for over 50 years. Through his work, he has tackled some of the most pressing issues in American society and paved the way for future generations of cartoonists to do the same.