|Creator:||Conrad, Paul, 1924-2010.|
|Title:||Paul Conrad Cartoons|
|Quantity:||8.1 linear ft.|
|Abstract:||Approximately 1,089 original editorial cartoons by the Pulitzer Prize-winning American cartoonist primarily from the Los Angeles Times with some from the Denver Post.|
|Repository:||Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010
Paul Conrad (1924-2010) was an American Pulitzer Prize winning editorial cartoonist.
Paul Francis Conrad was born on June 27, 1924 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. During World War II, Conrad served with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and he received a B.A. in art from the University of Iowa in 1950, where he contributed cartoons to college paper, the Daily Iowan. Growing up in Iowa, Conrad was inspired by Jay Norwood "Ding" Darling’s cartoons in the Des Moines Register. From 1950 to 1964, Conrad was the editorial cartoonist at the Denver Post with his work distributed by the Hall Syndicate. He left the Denver Post for the Los Angeles Times.
Conrad joined the Los Angeles Times several years after Otis Chandler became publisher, marking an era of change in which the newspaper's editorial page began to voice more liberal viewpoints and the paper worked to increase its visibility and expand its influence, which sparked criticism from more conservative members of the famed Chandler family. Conrad's cartoons were part of that new direction. His work was also syndicated through the Los Angeles Times Syndication. Conrad remained with the Los Angeles Times until 1993 when he accepted a buyout after changes to the paper's management took place, with the Chandler family no longer having a connection to the paper.
Conrad was renowned for his bold depictions and in particular his caricatures of Richard Nixon during Watergate. Conrad's work angered Nixon and other politicians: he was named on Nixon's infamous enemies list and Los Angeles mayor Sam Yorty brought a libel suit against Conrad in 1968. Ironically, Conrad would later hold the Richard M. Nixon Lecture Chair at Whittier College from 1977 to 1978.
Conrad won his first Pulitzer Prize in 1964 for his work at the Denver Post and received two additional Pulitzer prizes in 1971 and 1984. Conrad was also a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 1998. Sigma Delta Chi presented several awards to him (1953, 1969, 1971, 1981-1982, 1996). His many other recognitions include seven Distinguished Service Awards by the Society of Professional Journalists and four Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards (1985, 1990, 1992-1993).
Several compilations of Conrad’s cartoons have been published including Pro and Conrad (1979), Drawn and Quartered (1985) and his autobiography, I, Con : the autobiography of Paul Conrad, editorial cartoonist (2006). The PBS Independent Lens documentary released in 2006, PAUL CONRAD: Drawing Fire, explored Conrad's 50 year career. Also a sculptor, Conrad's bronze works of political leaders were exhibited at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Paul Conrad lived in Rancho Palos Verdes, California and continued to draw editorial cartoons into his 80s, which were distributed by the Tribune Media Syndicate. He died at his home on September 4, 2010.
The Paul Conrad Cartoons contain approximately 1,089 original editorial cartoons from 1963 to 1969. The cartoons from 1963 as well as several from 1964 date to Conrad's time at the Denver Post. The remaining the cartoons (the bulk of the collection) were published by the Los Angeles Times .
Conrad commented primarily on national and world affairs with some attention directed towards California politics and Los Angeles mayor Sam Yorty. Conrad provided extensive commentary on the presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson and the Vietnam War’s increasing escalation under Johnson’s order. With the election of Ronald Reagan as California Governor, Conrad’s attention to California politics becomes a more common theme and Reagan's hopes at becoming a viable presidential candidate (and the influence of Reagan's past as an actor) are chronicled. Conrad, drawing for a California paper, explored the influence of the Sunbelt on American politics and also chronicled the emergence of the right wing faction of the Republican Party, going so far as to refer to them as “kooks” in more than one cartoon. While famous for his portrayals of Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal, that period of Conrad's work is not represented in this collection. However, this collection offers examples of Conrad's earlier treatment of Richard Nixon as his gained political strength leading up to the 1968 presidential election.
While known to take liberal positions on issues, no particular political party or figure was immune from Conrad's bold depictions. For example, in cartoons about the civil rights movement, Conrad is both critical of southern, white supremacists as well as the shift among some activists to black nationalism. Conrad’s treatment of events also went beyond the surface of such issues. His civil rights cartoons are evidence of this. While critical of urban race riots and the new emphasis on black militancy in mid to late 1960s, Conrad also produced cartoons that explored possible roots of such problems such as a lack of education and poverty. His coverage of the Poor People’s Campaign in 1968 represents Conrad's attention to topics absent from other cartoonists' considerations during this era.
Conrad also frequently utilized people and themes from popular culture in his caricatures. Political figures like Ronald Reagan and Hubert Humphrey were transformed into Peanuts and Disney characters. Other figures appear in literary allusions to Shakespeare’s works. He also juxtaposed references to the counterculture with political events and figures: Robert F. Kennedy appeared as a long haired Maharishi Mahesh Yogi figure in a transcendental mediation pose and the band Jefferson Airplane became the “Jeffersonian Airplane”.
Each cartoon is dated and bears a mark of the syndicate which distributed it. The cartoons were drawn with pen, ink and crayon on illustration board and measure approximately 11 ½" x 14". The captions are typically written on the cartoon in pencil, however several have been printed and pasted on. The bottom border of the cartoons generally have notations and numbers in pencil related to the cartoon's production in print. One color cartoon is in the collection, (July 12, 1964) and appears to have been created for and aired on NBC television. It depicts the potential Republican presidential candidates during the 1964 election as feathers on the iconic NBC peacock.
The cartoons are arranged in chronological order and foldered by month. Cartoons with specific years but without specific months and days are located at the beginning of that year's folders.
The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.
Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.
Special Collections Research Center has collections of over one hundred cartoonists. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing.
Preferred citation for this material is as follows:
Paul Conrad Cartoons,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
Gift of Paul Conrad, 1969.
Created by: MD
Date: 21 Oct 2008
Revision history: 21 Oct 2008 - converted to EAD (MD); 23 Oct 2009 - added detailed inventory, index, bio and scope (SK); 16 Sep 2010- updated bio (SK)
|Cartoons 11 1/4" X 14"|
|Click here for a detailed inventory.|
|See below for an index to the cartoons.|
|Oversize 1, Folder 1||1963 (Denver Post)|
|Oversize 1, Folder 2||1964 ( Denver Post)|
|Oversize 1, Folder 3||Feb 1964|
|Oversize 1, Folder 4||Mar 1964|
|Oversize 1, Folder 5||Apr 1964|
|Oversize 1, Folder 6||May 1964|
|Oversize 1, Folder 7||Jun 1964|
|Oversize 2, Folder 1||Jul 1964|
|Oversize 2, Folder 2||Aug 1964|
|Oversize 2, Folder 3||Sep 1964|
|Oversize 2, Folder 4||Oct 1964|
|Oversize 2, Folder 5||Nov 1964|
|Oversize 2, Folder 6||Dec 1964|
|Oversize 3, Folder 1||Jan 1965|
|Oversize 3, Folder 2||Feb 1965|
|Oversize 3, Folder 3||Mar 1965|
|Oversize 3, Folder 4||Apr 1965|
|Oversize 3, Folder 5||May 1965|
|Oversize 3, Folder 6||Jun 1965|
|Oversize 3, Folder 7||Jul 1965|
|Oversize 3, Folder 8||Aug 1965|
|Oversize 4, Folder 1||Sep 1965|
|Oversize 4, Folder 2||Oct 1965|
|Oversize 4, Folder 3||Nov 1965|
|Oversize 4, Folder 4||Dec 1965|
|Oversize 5, Folder 1||Jan 1966|
|Oversize 5, Folder 2||Feb 1966|
|Oversize 5, Folder 3||Mar 1966|
|Oversize 5, Folder 4||Apr 1966|
|Oversize 5, Folder 5||May 1966|
|Oversize 5, Folder 6||Jun 1966|
|Oversize 6, Folder 1||Jul 1966|
|Oversize 6, Folder 2||Aug 1966|
|Oversize 6, Folder 3||Sep 1966|
|Oversize 6, Folder 4||Oct 1966|
|Oversize 6, Folder 5||Nov 1966|
|Oversize 6, Folder 6||Dec 1966|
|Oversize 7, Folder 1||Jan 1967|
|Oversize 7, Folder 2||Feb 1967|
|Oversize 7, Folder 3||Mar 1967|
|Oversize 7, Folder 4||Apr 1967|
|Oversize 7, Folder 5||May 1967|
|Oversize 7, Folder 6||Jun 1967|
|Oversize 8, Folder 1||Jul 1967|
|Oversize 8, Folder 2||Aug 1967|
|Oversize 8, Folder 3||Sep 1967|
|Oversize 8, Folder 4||Oct 1967|
|Oversize 8, Folder 5||Nov 1967|
|Oversize 8, Folder 6||Dec 1967|
|Oversize 9, Folder 1||Jan 1968|
|Oversize 9, Folder 2||Feb 1968|
|Oversize 9, Folder 3||Mar 1968|
|Oversize 9, Folder 4||Apr 1968|
|Oversize 9, Folder 5||May 1968|
|Oversize 9, Folder 6||Jun 1968|
|Oversize 10, Folder 1||Jul 1968|
|Oversize 10, Folder 2||Aug 1968|
|Oversize 10, Folder 3||Sep 1968|
|Oversize 10, Folder 4||Oct 1968|
|Oversize 10, Folder 5||Nov 1968|
|Oversize 10, Folder 6||Dec 1968|
|Oversize 10, Folder 7||Jan 1969|
The following is a list of predominant people, places and subjects appearing in the editorial cartoons in this collection. The list is not exhaustive. Some subjects may require you to browse with alternative terms.
B= Box, F= Folder. For example: B1F1= Box 1 Folder 1.