To commemorate Herb Block’s legacy, the Foundation awards the annual Herblock Prize for excellence in editorial cartooning. The Foundation created the Herblock Prize in 2004 to encourage editorial cartooning as an essential tool for preserving the rights of the American people through freedom of speech and the right of expression. Presented each spring at the Library of Congress, the prize is awarded by The Herb Block Foundation for distinguished examples of editorial cartooning that exemplify the courageous standard set by Herblock and is judged by a panel of outside experts.
The winner receives a tax free $15,000 cash prize as well as a sterling silver Tiffany trophy. Prize winners include:
The annual award ceremony also includes a guest lecturer who addresses social issues of the day in the spirit of Herb Block. The lectures have been delivered by Ben Bradlee of The Washington Post; President Barack Obama; former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor; Tom Brokaw of NBC News; Tim Russert of NBC; Ted Koppel formerly of ABC News; and writer, producer, director, playwright, author George Stevens, Jr., Jim Lehrer of the PBS Newshour and Garry Trudeau, creator of Doonesbury.
Although the judges for the Herblock Prize always had a finalist chosen for the award, the finalist was not announced until the year 2011. The finalist in 2011 was Ann Telnaes of the Washington Post for her portfolio of animated editorial cartoons. In 2012, The Herb Block Foundation announced that past, present and future finalists of the Herblock Prize would receive a $5,000 after-tax award. The finalist for 2012 was Jen Sorensen, the cartoonist behind Slowpoke, a weekly strip that appears in alternative newspapers around the country. The finalist for 2013 is Jack Ohman, editorial cartoonist for The Sacramento Bee.