For three decades, Paul Conrad's cartoons in the Los Angeles Times were conversation starters, debate shapers and eyeball attractors. He was one of the paper's best known journalists, the one sure to draw the longest lines at book signings and other public appearances. He was liberal but skewered almost everybody, and he famously had independence from the editor and publisher, who would regularly get calls from this or that mayor, senator or president demanding that Conrad be stopped. One of his favorite honors was to be included on President Richard Nixon's enemies list, and his website says his favorite irony was "holding the Richard M. Nixon Chair at Whittier College (1977-78.) "
Conrad, who won three Pulitzer Prizes, has been ill for months and died today at home in Rancho Palos Verdes. An exhibit of his work opened this week at College of the Canyons in Valencia, but Conrad was too ill to attend. Steve Greenberg of LA Observed helped out with the opening reception and will take part in a roundtable for students scheduled for Sept. 22. "I, CON: The Autobiography of Paul Conrad," was published by Angel City Press in 2006. Paul Conrad: Drawing Fire was a documentary about Conrad's work for Independent Lens earlier this decade.