South Florida-born cartoonist Charlos Gary fought the odds to become a cartoonist, using his art as a way to escape poverty and going on to draw the short-lived comic "State U." for the Ohio State University newspaper. He first committed himself to being a cartoonist while drawing for the University of Toledo's Collegian newspaper. The Elmira Star-Gazette ran his first political cartoon in 1997, and two years later he began splitting his time between cartoons and graphic design. His comic "Working It Out" began running in the Chicago Tribune shortly after. In his time as an artist Gary has received a Pulitzer Prize nomination, the Purple Reflection Award from the Chicago Council of Negro Women, and the Monarch Award for African-American leadership.