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California governor declares April 15 Rex Babin Day
California Gov. Jerry Brown issued a proclamation declaring today, April 15, as “Rex Babin Day” in the Golden State.
PROCLAMATION BY THE GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
“It is difficult not to write satire,” observed the Roman poet Juvenal at the close of the 1st Century A.D. Few understand this basic truth better than political cartoonists who, 2000 years later, wield the power of caricature, parody, farce and lampoon in the pages of our newspapers.
Paul Conrad said that political cartooning “is a peculiar art form…but a necessary art form…and a noble art form.” Rex Babin found his calling during a junior high field trip to the Los Angeles Times. After studying Conrad’s Pulitzer Prize-winning work for the Times, young Rex dreamed that one day he, too, might join the pantheon of great political cartoonists. For Rex – a native of Walnut Creek who grew up in Pacific Palisades and Encinitas – that dream came true.
Over the past twelve years in Sacramento, Rex chronicled the pitfalls and foibles of politics in the Golden State and beyond. His pen rendered verdicts on every issue and individual of importance. He had the unique ability to make biting comments in a way that still managed to put a smile on your face. Those lucky enough to escape his scathing critique should feel slighted to have been overlooked.
Rex left us too soon, and life will never be the same for the family, friends and colleagues who knew the man behind the pen. But his wife, Kathleen, and his son, Sebastian, can hopefully find some solace in the fact that the State of California mourns this native son today.
A powerful voice is gone, but a legacy remains. Rex is best remembered – not with words – but with cartoons. For these were his life’s work, shedding light and laughter amidst turbulent times, and becoming an indelible part of our history.
NOW THEREFORE I, EDMUND G. BROWN JR., Governor of the State of California, do hereby proclaim Sunday, April 15th, 2012 as “Rex Babin Day.”
IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this 15th day of April 2012.
EDMUND G. BROWN JR.
Governor of California
Rex passed away on March 30 after a year long battle against cancer. He was the editorial cartoonist for the Sacramento Bee for 12 years. He leaves behind his wife Kathleen and his son Sebastian.