Nebraska Authors

Karen Alyce Blessen

Born 1951 Columbus, NE (USA)

Blessen has had an interesting and diverse career as an artist, illustrator, and journalist. In 1988 she served as graphic designer and graphics coordinator for a Dallas Morning News team that worked for four months to investigate and explain a 22 month National Transportation Safety Board investigation of an aviation disaster. For that work, she was the first graphic artist to win a Pulitzer Prize (1989, for Explanatory Journalism). Her work was shown in Lincoln at the 2008 Haydon Art Center exhibition, "Children's Book Illustrators."


Places Lived

Columbus, NE
New York, NY
Dallas, TX

Author Of

  • Nonfiction
  • Visual Work
  • Journalism


Art; Artists - Nebraska; Graphic Arts; Journalism--Pulitzer Prize


Graduate, 1969, Columbus High School, Columbus, NE
BFA, 1973, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE


College Art Teacher
Freelance Illustrator

Places Worked

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE
New York Times
Redbook Magazine
Dallas Morning News


Pulitzer Prize Winner for Explanatory Journalism, 1989, for "Anatomy of an Air Crash," work she did on reporting a 1986 airplane crash and related safety implications
She was the first Graphic Artist to win a Pulitzer Prize


Douglas Ross and James Eisentrager were her principal teachers at UNL in early 1970's.


Soozabadootch. 1979. (with Doris E. Foster)
Be an Angel. 1994. (with Dana Reynolds)

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Karen Alyce Blessen

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(e.g. Author is buried in Fremont, not in David City / Also wrote for the Daily Nebraskan during her time as a student)