He began in 1953 as a copyboy for the Adelaide Advertiser, becoming a press artist there in 1954, and then the newspaper’s cartoonist in 1955. Oliphant moved to the United States in 1964 to become cartoonist for the Denver Post. He relocated to The Washington Star in 1975, where he remained until the newspaper folded in 1981. That year Oliphant became an independent artist, working in association with the Universal Press Syndicate. From the1960s until 2015, Oliphant’s work appeared weekly in countless newspapers and magazines worldwide, including the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, and The New Yorker.
Winner of the 1967 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning; a three-time winner of the Reuben Award; recipient of the Thomas Nast Award in Landau, Germany, and the Premio Satira Politica in Forte dei Marmi, Italy; Oliphant received an Honorary Doctorate from Dartmouth College in 1981.