Clay Jones (1966-)

Clay Jones
Clay Jones, U.S. political cartoonist in 2019 in Woodbridge, Virginia.

Clay Jones, born June 1, 1966, is an American cartoonist in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He self-publishes his political cartoons for newspapers and news websites nationwide, and contributes a weekly cartoon to CNN Opinion’s Provoke/Persuade newsletter. He was an editorial cartoonist for The Free Lance-Star from 1998 to 2012. Over 400 magazines received his work through Creators Syndicate from 2000 to 2012. Jones currently sends his writing to more than 50 newspapers. He created cartoons for The Daily Dot in 2014 and 2015. 

Clay Jones occasionally produces unique cartoons for different newspapers. From 2014-2015, he worked as a freelancer for The Free Lance-Star, delivering a weekly cartoon and a contest. He created a weekly cartoon for the Costa Rica Star from 2016 to 2019.


Clay Jones
Photo of Clay Jones


Jones was born in Fort Hood, Texas, in 1966. From 1989 through 1995, he held his first position as a cartoonist at The Panolian in Batesville, Mississippi. In September of that same year, Jones departed the Panolian to work for the Daily Leader in Brookhaven, Mississippi. In addition to supplying an exclusive cartoon to the Mississippi Business Journal once a week, he self-published five weekly cartoons on state problems to more than 40 Mississippi newspapers between the early 1990s and 1997.

Cartoon by Clay Jones
Cartoon by Clay Jones

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin recruited Jones to stand in for Corky Trinidad for a year while he took a break from being a cartoonist. The Free Lance-Star employed Jones upon his departure from Honolulu. He produced five cartoons every week for the newspaper, wrote a daily column, and ran a weekly caption competition. In October 2013, he started drawing cartoons once more. He cut ties with Creators Syndicate in February 2014 and established his syndicate.

Cartoon by Clay Jones
Cartoon by Clay Jones

Before starting his syndicate, Claytoonz, Jones’ work was distributed nationwide by Creators Syndicate to more than 400 newspapers. USA Today, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, Newsweek, and Time have all highlighted his work. The Mattie Sink Memorial Library at Mississippi State University houses a collection of his writings. Knee-Deep In Mississippi, a collection of cartoons mainly from Mississippi, was released by Pelican Publishing in 1997. CNN and MSNBC have both featured his work. Jones creates a cartoon every week for the CNN Opinion email newsletter.

In 2019, Tales from the Trumpster Fire, a book he wrote that only dealt with the Donald Trump administration, was released by Mr. Media Books.

In June 2022, Jones was appointed curator for the Museum of Political Corruption’s Thomas Nast Gallery of Political Cartoons. Jones is to develop a political cartoon contest for the museum.

Cartoon by Clay Jones
Cartoon by Clay Jones


For the first three years of the Mississippi Press Association Better Newspaper Contest, Jones took first prize for the best editorial cartoon. Additionally, he has received honors in Virginia, Hawaii, and New York. He won first place in 2011, second in 2012, third in 2013, and first in 2014 in the Virginia Press Association’s annual contest.

In 2018, Jones’ cartoon for The Highlands Current in Cold Spring, New York, won the Best Cartoon prize in the National Newspaper Association’s Better Newspaper Contest.

In the National Headliner Award for editorial cartoons in print/photo, daily newspapers, and news syndicates in 2020, Jones came in third place.

Jones is the 2022 winner of the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award in Editorial Cartooning for both his self-published editorial cartoons and his CNN editorial cartoons. 

On June 23, 2022, the Society of Professional Journalists presented Jones with the 2021/2022 Sigma Delta Chi Award for Excellence in Journalism in the category of Editorial Cartooning.

Read also: Interview with Award-Winning Editorial Cartoonist Clay Jones


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Written by Tor Alosson

I am a passionate writer with a deep love for exploring diverse topics. My writing endeavors span a broad spectrum, allowing me to delve into various subjects enthusiastically and curiously. From the human experience's intricacies to the natural world's wonders, I find joy in crafting words that bring these subjects to life. My creative journey knows no bounds, and I embrace the opportunity to share my thoughts, stories, and insights on everything that piques my interest. Writing is my gateway to endless exploration, a realm where I can freely express my thoughts and ideas and connect with others who share my appreciation for the written word.

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Clay Jones

Award-Winning Editorial Cartoonist Clay Jones: An Exclusive Interview