Donald Kaul

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Donald Kaul is an American journalist and pundit, and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1987 and 1999.[1] Kaul retired after three decades writing opinion columns, mainly for the Des Moines Register, where he established his liberal and satirical style.[2] Perhaps Kaul's greatest legacy is the Des Moines Register‘s annual, weeklong bike ride across Iowa, RAGBRAI, of which he is the co-founder.[3] The idea for the ride began with a 1973 Kaul column and he launched it that year with John Karras, another Register writer.

Kaul came out of retirement in 2001 to write columns syndicated by OtherWords, a national non-profit editorial service.[4] Kaul's OtherWords columns run primarily in the Midwest, including The Quad Cities Dispatch-Argus,[5] The Mason City Globe Gazette,[6] The Progressive Populist,[7] and Insider Iowa.[8]

In a January 2, 2013 Des Moines Register satirical essay posted shortly after the Newtown massacre at a Connecticut elementary school, Kaul called for the NRA to be declared a terrorist organization, for Republican leaders Mitch McConnell and John Boehner to be dragged behind a Chevy pickup truck until they saw "the light" about gun control, and for anyone who would not give up their firearms to be killed.[9] After being criticized by those who took the column seriously,[10] Kaul two days later published "Deploying Satire at My Own Risk," which clarified that the earlier essay had been satire in the tradition of Jonathan Swift and A Modest Proposal.[11]


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