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One Of Australia's Most Controversial Cartoonists Bill Leak Has Died

He was 61.

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The nine time Walkley award winner was editorial cartoonist for The Australian broadsheet. He was both admired and admonished for his illustrations on topics such as Islam, women and LGBTI rights.

Yassmin Abdel-Magied's DFAT sponsored study tour was narcissist pandering to socmed & ignorant of Muslim country go… https://t.co/ypq5L6ukVn

The Australian's editor in chief Paul Whittaker broke the news to staff on Friday, saying Leak was "simply irreplaceable" and "a towering figure for more than two decades".

Bill Leak's last cartoon, published today: https://t.co/T8DrEbxMYN

His colleagues tweeted some of their favourite Leak cartoons and portraits.

Stunned by the news that Bill Leak died this morning - he was one of our greatest portrait artists and cartoonists… https://t.co/aaofWpvQxJ

Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull wrote a long personal reflection on Facebook, calling Leak "the master of political cartooning".

Facebook: malcolmturnbull

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson praised the cartoonist as a "champion of free speech".

RIP Bill Leak. You will be remembered as a champion free speech. One of the few brave enough to point out when the emperor had no clothes.

Recently Leak was locked in a battle with the Australian Human Rights Commission over his cartoon that attempted to satirise the relationship between an Indigenous father and his son.

Earlier this week Leak launched a book of his latest cartoons and took particular aim at "political correctness", which he claimed was "a poison that attacks the sense of humour".

Cartoonist Bill Leak questions the agenda of the Human Rights Commission after speaking at the launch of his new bo… https://t.co/IULvYBgEWE

Leak leaves behind a wife Goong, stepdaughter Tasha and sons Johannes and Jasper.


Mark Di Stefano is a political editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.

Contact Mark Di Stefano at mark.distefano@buzzfeed.com.

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