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Berkeley Breathed

Berkeley Breathed

The Art of Compassion
25th Anniversary Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

Honorary Committee

Berkely Breathed

Guy Berkeley Breathed is a cartoonist, children's book author/illustrator, director, and screenwriter, best known for Bloom County, a 1980s comic strip that dealt with socio-political issues as seen through the eyes of highly exaggerated characters and humorous analogies.

His first regularly published strip was The Academia Waltz, which appeared in the Daily Texan in 1978. The strip attracted the notice of the editors of The Washington Post, who recruited him to do a nationally syndicated strip. On Dec. 8, 1980, Bloom County made its debut and featured some of the characters from Academia Waltz, including former frat-boy Steve Dallas and the paraplegicm Vietnam war veteran Cutter John.

Bloom County earned Breathed the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning in 1987. The strip eventually appeared in over 1,200 newspapers around the world until Berkeley retired the daily strip in 1989. He replaced this strip with the surreal Sunday-only cartoon Outland in 1989, which recycled some of the Bloom County characters, including Opus the Penguin and Bill the Cat. He ended Outland in 1995.

Eight years later, Breathed began producing the comic strip, Opus, a Sunday-only strip featuring Opus the Penguin, who was one of the central characters in Bloom County. He colors the cartoon himself with Adobe Photoshop, claiming that the advances in technology since 1990 have created an opportunity to draw "something that 'looks' cool on a comic page."

In addition to his syndicated cartoon work, which has produced 11 best-selling cartoon collections, he has also produced five children's books, two of which, A Wish for Wings That Work and Edwurd Fudwupper Fibbed Big, were made into animated films. Breathed's writing has also been featured in numerous publications, including Life, Boating, and Travel and Leisure, and he produced the cartoon art in the film, Secondhand Lions, which featured a strip called Walter and Jasmine.

For information about the Honorary Committee, please contact:

Patricia Howard
phoward@pcrm.org
202-527-7324

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