After graduating from Harvard College with honors in 1977, Kevin embarked on a bicycle tour of the British Isles, where he joined the Brighton Basketball Club as a player and coach. After the club hit financial difficulties, Kevin drew caricatures of tourists in Trafalgar Square and on Brighton Pier. In March 1978, The Economist recruited him to become their first resident cartoonist in their 145 year history.
Kevin spent the next 10 years working in London as a cartoonist for such publications as The Observer, The Sunday Telegraph, Today and The Mail on Sunday.
Kevin returned to the U.S. in 1988 to join The Baltimore Sun as its editorial cartoonist. Betweeen 1988 and 2006, he drew over 4000 for The Sun while continuing to draw two cartoons per week for The Economist. After a six year hiatus Kal rejoined The Sun as an editorial cartoonist in 2012.
KAL's work for The Sun and The Economist has appeared in more than 100 publications worldwide, including Le Monde, Der Spiegel, Pravda, Krokodil, Daily Yomiuri, The Australian, The International Herald Tribune, The New York Times, Time, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report, and The Washington Post. His cartoons are distributed worldwide by Cartoonarts International and the New York Times Syndicate.
Kevin has won many awards for his work including the 2005 Nast Prize as presented by The town of Landau, Germany. The 2004 "Gillray Goblet" for Cartoon of the year as presented by the Political Cartoon Society of Great Britain. The 1999, 2002 and 2005 Thomas Nast Award presented by the Overseas Press Club of America. The 2002 Berryman award presented by the National Press Foundation. The 1996 Grafica Internazionale Award at the International Festival of Satire in Pisa, Italy. The 1990 award for Best Editorial Cartoon at the Witty World International Cartoon Festival in Budapest, Hungary and the 1982 Feature Cartoonist of the Year Award as presented by the Cartoonist Club Of Great Britain.
In 2013, He published a major retrospective collection of his Economist drawings entitled Daggers Drawn: 35 Years of Kal Cartoons in The Economist. An earlier collection of his Economist work, Drawn from The Economist was printed in 1988. Four collections of his Baltimore Sun cartoons have been published: KALtoons (1992), KAL Draws a Crowd (1996) and KAL Draws the Line (2000), and KAL Draws Criticism (2006).
Kal’s diverse portfolio for The Economist also includes over 4000 published cartoons, 140 covers, a 2008 board game he created about the world financial crisis titled “Credit Crunch” and 3 award-winning illustrated Wall calendars.
In 1995, Kevin was invited by The Walter's Art Gallery to help curate the celebrated exhibit "Worth a Thousand Words: A Picture of Contemporary Political Satire". In 2006, The Walters mounted a major retrospective exhibition of Kevin's cartoons titled " Mightier than The Sword; The Satirical Pen of KAL". Kevin's work has also been exhibited at the Tate Gallery in London and the Library of Congress in Washington. He has had one man exhibitions in London, Seoul, New York, Amman (Jordan), Baku (Azerbaijan), St Petersburg (Russia), Bucharest (Romania), Washington, San Francisco, Jackson Hole,WY, Durham,NC and Baltimore.
In 1999, The World Encyclopedia of Cartoons said of Kevin "Commanding a masterful style, Kallaugher stands among the premier caricaturists of the (twentieth) century."
Kevin Kallaugher is a past President of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists and Cartoonists Rights Network.
Kal's work has been widely displayed at exhibitions including at the Tate Gallery in London and the Library of Congress in Washington. He has also had exhibitions in London, Seoul (South Korea), Amman (Jordan), Baku (Azerbaijan), St Petersburg (Russia,) Bucharest (Romania), New York, San Francisco, Washington, Jackson Hole, WY, Durham NC, and Baltimore.
Kal is also a sought after public speaker addressing audiences around the world on issues of current events, satire, cartoons and freedom of expression. Kal has presented TEDx talks in Warwick, England (2011), Jackson Hole, WY (2013). In addition Kal has lectured in Italy, Taiwan, Nigeria, Harvard University, Pixar Studios and Google HQ.
Kal also served as a jury member for the 2012 Pulitzer Prizes.
As part of his senior thesis at Harvard, Kevin completed a 13 minute animated film " In The Days of Disgustus" which featured characters from his weekly cartoon strip by the same name that ran in The Harvard Crimson. In 1986, Kevin worked with animation legend Richard Williams to produce " No Bias" an award winning 30 second television commercial for the Today Newspaper in Great Britain. In 2004 Kevin teamed up with animator Gary Leib at Twinkle studio to create flash animation video for ABC's "Nightline" and CNN's "Lou Dobbs".
In 2006, Kevin was named Artist-in-Residence at the Imaging Research Center at The University of Maryland Baltimore County. With the IRC, Kevin explored the development of 3D digital caricatures that can be animated in Real-time. His first character, The Digital Dubya, made its world premier at a live press conference at the Walters Art Museum in June 2006. The premier of his digital animation was in March 2007 when The Economist commissioned a web video to coincide with the launch of a gallery of KAL's cartoons on the magazine's website.
Kevin lauched a Maryland based animation company Kaltoons LLC in 2007. Kaltoons first video "Dancin" Dubya" was launched August, 2007.
Starting in October 2007, KAL teamed up with Chicago's famous "Second City" comedy troupe for a 6 city touring show called 'The Art of Satire". KAL employed "real-time" interactive animated satire for the shows including live press conferences and dance competitions with his 3-D caricatures.