Paul Conrad, political cartoonist was 86 *

ICON-cvr.jpgFor 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-book-cover.jpgConrad, 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.

conrad112006.jpgConrad was no fan of the Chicago ownership's management of the Times and his tenure there ended less than amicably. This cartoon from 2006 made known his feelings at the time.

Edited post

More by Kevin Roderick:
Ralph Lawler of the Clippers and the age of Aquarius
Riding the Expo Line to USC 'just magical'
Last bastion of free parking? Loyola Marymount to charge students
Matt Kemp, Dodgers and Kings start big weekend the right way
LA Times writers revisit their '92 riots observations
Recent Obituaries stories on LA Observed:
Bill Skowron, ex-Dodger and Angel was 81
Lucy Delgado, Mothers of East LA founder was 87
Bob Dylan on the passing of Levon Helm
Jesse Linares, city editor was 49 *
Dick Clark, TV music pioneer was 82 *

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