Bill Mauldin is one of America's most distinguished artists with scores of honors conveyed upon him throughout his career. He is well known for faithfully portraying the lives and sacrifices of the American GI. He started out with a Pulitzer Prize at 23, the youngest winner of journalism's highest honor with his "Willie and Joe" cartoons in 1945. He added a second Pulitzer in 1959 for a cartoon on the fate of Soviet Novelist Boris Pasternak.
Mauldin's pen and ink abilities brought him three Distinguished Service Awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi. The first came in 1964 for his grieving Lincoln after President Kennedy's assassination. In 1969, when President Eisenhower died, he won his second for a drawing of a field of military gravestones. The caption read "It's Ike himself. Pass the word." The third was for a cartoon conceived at a time of growing controversy over jailing of newsmen for refusal to disclose confidential news sources.
The National Cartoonists Society has honored Mauldin twice for his work, for best editorial cartoon in 1959 and in 1962 when he was named cartoonist of the year. He was been awarded with four honorary degrees: a Master of arts from Connecticut Wesleyan University, Doctor of letters from New Mexico State University, Doctor of literature from Albion College and Doctor of humane letters from Lincoln College.
At the start of World War II, Mauldin was overseas with the U.S. Army. His best-known book, Up Front, was a product of those years. It is a collection of his war cartoons with stories behind them. He also had four other collections published during the war: Sicily Sketchbook; Mud, Mules and Mountains; This Damn Tree Leaks; and Star Spangled Banter. He chronicled Korea and Vietnam as well.