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Cartoonist Garry Trudeau to deliver lecture on a meaningful life Jan. 28 at Stanford

Free tickets will be available starting Jan. 7 for Stanford students, faculty, staff, alumni and the general public at the Stanford Ticket Office.

Ali Goldstein Garry Trudeau

Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Garry Trudeau is the 2014 Rathbun Visiting Fellow at Stanford.

Garry Trudeau, creator of the Pulitzer Prize-winning comic strip Doonesbury, will offer personal reflections on his life when he delivers "Harry's Last Lecture on a Meaningful Life" at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 28, in Stanford Memorial Church.

The lecture honors the late Stanford Law School Professor Harry Rathbun, who delivered his renowned "Last Lecture" annually from the 1930s through the 1950s.

Free tickets will be available starting Jan. 7 for Stanford students, faculty, staff, alumni and the general public at the Stanford Ticket Office, located on the second floor of Tresidder Memorial Union.

Trudeau became the first comic strip artist to win the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning in 1975 for his Watergate cartoons. A social and political satirist, he has tracked and explored American culture for more than four decades.

In 2010, he published 40: A Doonesbury Retrospective, a 700-page celebratory anthology of the comic strip, which still appears in newspapers and online.

Trudeau has written for the stage, television and film. In 1988, he wrote HBO's award-winning Tanner '88 miniseries, a satiric look at that year's presidential election campaign. In 2013, he created the comedy series Alpha House for Amazon Studios.

Trudeau created his first comic strip, Bull Tales, for his college newspaper in 1968 as a Yale undergraduate and relaunched it two years later as Doonesbury.

The red-headed, red-bearded Rev. Scot Sloan in Doonesbury is a composite of the Rev. Scotty McLennan, dean for religious life at Stanford, who was Trudeau's college roommate for three years, and the late Rev. William Sloane Coffin, the outspoken Yale chaplain who rose to national prominence in the 1960s and 1970s as a mentor for a generation of civil rights and peace activists.

Trudeau provided the cover art and the introduction to McLennan's 1999 book, Finding Your Religion: When the Faith You Grew Up With Has Lost Its Meaning.

In 1989, Trudeau gave the Commencement address at Stanford.

"I'm thrilled that Garry is coming, because he's such an amazing and wonderful human being with a vast understanding of the world on every level – politically, culturally, spiritually and interpersonally," McLennan said.

Trudeau will be the fifth person chosen as the Rathbun Visiting Fellow by the Office for Religious Life at Stanford to deliver "Harry's Last Lecture." The others were Marian Wright Edelman, president and founder of the Children's Defense Fund; His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama; George Shultz, former U.S. secretary of state; and Sandra Day O'Connor, former Supreme Court justice.

Media Contact

NaSun Cho, Office for Religious Life: (650) 862-3246, nasun@stanford.edu