Born in Greensboro, North Carolina on December 6, 1949 and raised in Durham, N.C., Laurel, Mississippi and Sanford Florida, Douglas Nigel “Doug” Marlette graduated from Florida State University and began drawing political cartoons for The Charlotte Observer in 1972. He joined the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 1987, New York Newsday in 1989, the Tallahassee Democrat in 2002 and in 2006 The Tulsa World .
His editorial cartoons and his comic strip, Kudzu, were syndicated in hundreds of newspapers worldwide. He won every major award for editorial cartooning including the 1988 Pulitzer Prize. He received the National Headliners Award for Consistently Outstanding Editorial Cartoons three times, the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Award for editorial cartooning twice, First Prize in the John Fischetti Memorial Cartoon Competition twice and became the first cartoonist ever awarded the Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University. In 2002 he was inducted into the UNC Journalism Hall of Fame and in 2009 was posthumously inducted into the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame.
His work appeared in Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and he appeared on NBC's Today Show, CBS's Morning News, ABC's Good Morning America, ABC's Nightline, National Public Radio's Morning Edition and All Things Considered the Jim Lehrer News-Hour and CNN .
He wrote an ethics column for Esquire and contributed to The New Republic, The Nation, Men’s Journal and The Paris Review.
His cartoon work is collected in 17 volumes, including In Your Face: A Cartoonist at Work from Houghton Mifflin, Faux Bubba: Bill and Hillary Go To Washington, from Times Books/Random House, Gone With The Kudzu from Rutledge Hill and I Feel Your Pain from Loblolly Books and his last political cartoon book, What Would Marlette Drive? from Plan Nine Publishing .
The musical adaptation of his comic strip into Kudzu, A Southern Musical in collaboration with Jack Herrick and Bland Simpson of The Red Clay Ramblers was produced at Duke University and at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. and has been published by Samuel French Co. The cast album CD Kudzu , A Southern Musical was published in 2003.
Doug Marlette's first novel, The Bridge, published by HarperCollins in 2001, was a bestseller and voted 2002 Best Fiction, Book of the Year by the Southeast Booksellers Association. His second novel, “Magic Time” , was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2006 .
The academic year of 2001-2002 , Doug served as the Distinguished Visiting Professor in the School Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and in 2005-2007 he was appointed the Gaylord Distinguished Visiting Lecturer at the College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Oklahoma in Norman .
Doug Marlette died on July 10, 2007 . North Carolina Governor Mike Easley posthumously awarded him the honor of membership into the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the highest civilian honor bestowed by the governor of North Carolina.