Times Political Cartoonist Paul Conrad to Retire
Paul Conrad, three-time Pulitzer Prize winner and political cartoonist for the Los Angeles Times since 1964, will retire from the newspaper March 31.
Conrad, 68, will continue to have his cartoons distributed by the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, and his cartoons will appear twice a week in The Times. The paper will also continue to carry the work of a variety of other editorial cartoonists.
“Paul Conrad is an institution to all of us here at The Times and his many readers around the world,” said David Laventhol, publisher and chief executive officer of the newspaper. “We will miss Paul’s day-to-day presence at The Times, but we are pleased that his cartoons will still be distributed by the syndicate and will continue to run in our paper.”
Conrad, who was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, started cartooning in college at the University of Iowa student newspaper, the Daily Iowan. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in art in 1950, he worked for the Denver Post and began making a name for himself with cartoons of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
He won his first Pulitzer at the Denver Post in 1964. He was recruited to The Times by then-Publisher Otis Chandler. At The Times, he won numerous awards, including the Pulitzer in 1971 and 1984. He is also a three-time recipient of the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.
“My decision to retire from The Times was a tough one to make, but at this point in my life it’s time to throttle back somewhat,” Conrad said. “I’m looking forward to having the best of both worlds: continuing to comment on issues and people through my cartoons, while also devoting more attention to my other interests.”
Conrad’s limited-edition bronze sculptures of political leaders have been exhibited at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. His 30-foot sculpture of an atomic explosion, “Chain Reaction,” stands in the City Hall complex in Santa Monica.
But Conrad is most noted for the bite of his pen, which spared few politicians or other public figures. His cartoons throughout the Watergate scandal earned him a place on the Nixon White House enemies list. Ironically, Conrad later held the Richard M. Nixon Chair at Whittier College.
Times Editor Shelby Coffey III said of Conrad: “He is a master of expressing himself powerfully and, in doing so, making us all think about our views. That’s what the editorial cartoonist’s job really is, and he does it better than anyone else.”
Conrad’s books include “Drawn and Quartered,” “Pro and Conrad,” and “The King and Us.” He is working on a book that will include the best of his work during his 29 years at The Times. He resides in Rancho Palos Verdes with his wife, Kay.