Paul Conrad

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Paul Francis Conrad (June 27, 1924 – September 4, 2010) was an American political cartoonist from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He was chief editorial cartoonist for the Los Angeles Times from 1964 to 1993. Conrad was syndicated to hundreds of newspapers worldwide. He earned three Pulitzer Prizes for editorial cartooning during his career.


  • You should always determine first what you want to say. It's a bad situation for a cartoonist to think of his pictures first...A cartoonist should get out of bed mad and stay mad. The cartoonist's function is essentially a negative one, and the cartoon that advocates something usually says nothing.
    • As quoted in One of the Few. (1960, June 13). Time, 75(24): 54.
  • I decide who's right and who's wrong, and go from there. But I can't just comment on an issue. I've got to take an editorial position. Too many cartoonists simply illustrate the news. Well, the readers know the news, and a cartoon that illustrates doesn't tell them a thing they don't already know. So, I formulate an opinion and draw it.
    • Paul Conrad. (2010) [1992]. Contemporary Authors Online. Gale. As quoted in Lebo, Harlan H. (December 1977). Writer's Digest.
  • I wake up angry every morning and start reading. Then I'm furious.
    • As quoted in Astor, D. (1999). The state of editorial cartooning eyed at Iowa City symposium. Editor & Publisher, 132(43): 35.
  • I don't see a great deal in editorial cartooning today, and neither do the editors. Damn few of them want cartoons that say something that should be said, politically, that is. As long as that continues, cartoonists are going to be in bad shape, but not as bad shape as the publishers and owners of the newspapers will be in when the people realize they're not reading anything.
    • As quoted in Pompilio, N. (2002). Not So Funny. American Journalism Review.
  • Nobody ever accused me of being objective.
  • Cartoons are ridicule and satire by definition. A negative attitude is the nature of the art.
    • As cited in Lordan, Edward J. (2006). Politics, Ink: How America's Cartoonists Skewer Politicians, from King George III to George Dubya. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 135.
  • Throughout our history - and that of the world - it's always come down to the friction between the haves and have-nots or between the average Joes and the large corporations. So that's a recurring theme in my work.
  • Editorial cartoonists are idealists, of another world. Political, social and moral injustices are perceived as monstrosities [requiring the cartoonist to] sweep aside all the complexities and go to the basic issue; to take suspicions, coincidences and past events and record them larger than life.

Quotes about Conrad[edit]

  • Conrad's name strikes fear in the hearts of men all over the world. Where there is corruption, greed or hypocrisy, everyone says, 'This is a job for Conrad.'
  • Conrad is...more than a legend in cartooning and an institution in American journalism. He is a force of nature...You measure Conrad on the Richter scale.
  • Laugh and the whole world laughs with you. Cry, and you've been the subject of a Paul Conrad cartoon.
    • U.S. President Gerald Ford, as cited in Schudel, M. (2010, September 5). Pulitzer-winning political cartoonist. The Washington Post.

External links[edit]

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