Steve Sack, longtime Star Tribune cartoonist, announces retirement

After more than four decades, the Star Tribune’s Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist has announced his retirement.

Steve Sack and the newspaper posted the news over the weekend.

“It’s with extremely mixed feelings that after 42 years, and some 10,000 cartoons, I have decided to retire from the Star Tribune,” Sack wrote.

Sack, 68, said he’s recovering from hand surgery for carpal tunnel and other nerve issues and decided to focus on other interests.

He joined the Star Tribune in 1981 after working for the University of Minnesota’s student newspaper, the Minnesota Daily. The Star Tribune released a collection of the 2013 Pulitzer winner’s cartoons in 2017.

Sack noted some readers took exception to many of his cartoons and explained that his goal was always to “expose a greater truth, which simply boils down to sharing one’s view of the world. That’s the goal of every artist.”

Despite his many honors, Scott Gillespie, an editorial page editor for the Star Tribune, said Sack was always “remarkably humble.”

Gillespie noted that Sack once said, “Basically, my job description is to read the paper, crack a joke, draw a picture and turn it in,” but Gillespie said Sack’s “mini-masterpieces” came after “extensive reading, conversations with colleagues, and some of the most creative doodling ever done around a conference table or in a cubicle.”

“He has earned this next chapter — one not tied to the day’s news and the need to deliver a piece of art and commentary that satisfies readers and meets his own high standards,” Gillespie wrote.

The Star Tribune hasn’t yet decided if a new cartoonist will be hired to replace Sack, and the paper plans to use national cartoons until a decision is made, Gillespie said.