Ted Rall is one of the nation's most outspoken left-of-center pundits. Though best known as one of America's most controversial and widely syndicated political cartoonists, he is also an acclaimed columnist, author and war correspondent. Twice the winner of the RFK Journalism Award and a Pulitzer Prize finalist, Rall traveled to Afghanistan during the fall 2001 U.S. invasion, where he drew and wrote "To Afghanistan and Back," the first book of any kind about the war. He was also one of the first journalists to declare the war effort doomed, writing in The Village Voice in December 2001 that the occupation had already been lost.
Rall's latest book is a graphic novel memoir, "The Year of Loving Dangerously", with Pablo G. Callejo, about his journey from Ivy League college student to homeless bed-hopper during the long hot summer of 1984 in New York City.
Inspired after meeting pop artist Keith Haring in a Manhattan subway station in 1986, Rall began posting his cartoons on New York City streets. He eventually picked up 12 small clients, including NY Weekly and a poetry review in Halifax, Nova Scotia, through self-syndication. In 1990, he returned to Columbia University to resume his studies, from which he graduated with a bachelor of arts with honors in history in 1991. (His honors thesis was about American plans to occupy France as an enemy power at the end of World War II.) Later that year, Rall's cartoons were signed for national syndication by San Francisco Chronicle Features, which is no longer in business. He moved to Universal Press Syndicate in 1996.
His cartoons now appear in more than 100 publications around the United States, including the Los Angeles Times, Tucson Weekly, SF Weekly, Pasadena Weekly, Toledo City Paper and MAD Magazine.
Rall considers himself a neo-traditionalist who uses a unique drawing style to revive the aggressive approach of Thomas Nast, who viewed editorial cartoons as a vehicle for change. His focus is on issues important to ordinary working people –he keeps a sign asking "What do actual people care about?" above his drafting table– such as un- and underemployment, the environment and popular culture, but also comments on political and social trends.