Artist Paul Conrad Dies; Exhibit on display at COC Art Gallery

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UPDATED: September 4, 2010 | 7:00 PM –

MSNBC and the LA Times are reporting that Paul Conrad died on Sept 4th at the age of 86. He died before dawn at his home in Rancho Palos Verdes surrounded by family according to his son David Conrad.


VALENCIA CAMPUS — It’s the 2nd week of the new semester at COC, and the campus art gallery is opening for the first show of the fall after taking some time off for much needed renovations over the summer. In an impressive exhibit, the gallery displayed works of art from three-time Pulitzer Prize winner Paul Conrad. Conrad, who’s career spans some 50 years, has a portfolio bursting with art about political celebrities such as Richard Nixon and Sarah Palin.

Conrad’s greatest body of work came during the Vietnam era. His drawings were so prolific and so critical of Nixon and the government, that Nixon put Conrad on his infamous “Enemies List.”

Conrad also served at the LA Times as the chief editorial cartoonist between 1964 to 1993. He was often known as being cantankerous and grouchy; but never one to miss a deadline. In all his years of drawing not just for the LA Times, but for many newspapers around the country, he never once missed a deadline, and turned out at least one picture a day.

Conrad, who is now 90 years old, was not able to attend the grand opening due to poor health, but friend and colleague Steve Greenburgh was in attendance admiring the artwork.

“I went to Cal State Long Beach and I was drawing for the campus paper; and Conrad was working for the LA Times, and I got to meet him. And I was your typical ignorant, snot nosed kid and he was the very established Pulitzer Prize winning professional. So I contacted him with some of my early samples, and he basically told me I didn’t draw very well [and] don’t expect to make a career out of this. But you know, if you have perseverance, give it a shot.”

The exhibition of Paul Conrad’s work is on display at the COC Art Gallery until September 30th. Cartoonists Steve Greenburgh and David Brown will also be giving a lecture at the gallery on September 22 (tentative) on the past and future of political cartooning.

  • John Nussbaum Sr

    Nice article John! I enjoyed Mr. Conrads work alot. Particularly during the VietNam years…