Collection inventory

Special Collections home page
printer friendly version

Paul Conrad Cartoons

An inventory of his cartoons at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Conrad, Paul, 1924-2010.
Title: Paul Conrad Cartoons
Inclusive Dates: [1944?]-1986
Bulk Dates: 1963-1969
Quantity: 8.1 linear ft.
Abstract: More than a thousand original editorial cartoons by the Pulitzer Prize-winning American cartoonist, primarily from the Los Angeles Times with some from the Denver Post.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

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.

Return to top

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Paul Conrad Cartoons contain more than a thousand original editorial cartoons, primarily from the 1960s. A few of the undated items may be from the late 1940s through the 1950s. The cartoons span Conrad's time at the Denver Post and 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.

Return to top

Arrangement of the Collection

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.

Return to top


Access Restrictions

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.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Return to top

Related Material

Special Collections Research Center has collections of over one hundred cartoonists. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing.

Return to top

Subject Headings


Conrad, Paul, 1924-2010.
Gaulle, Charles de, 1890-1970 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Goldwater, Barry M. (Barry Morris), 1909-1998 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Ho Chi Minh, 1890-1969 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Humphrey, Hubert H. (Hubert Horatio), 1911-1978 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Kennedy, Robert F., 1925-1968 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
McNamara, Robert S., 1916-2009. -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-1994 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Reagan, Ronald -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Yorty, Sam, 1909-1998 -- Caricatures and cartoons.

Corporate Bodies

Democratic Party (U.S.) -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Register and Tribune Syndicate.
Republican Party (U.S. : 1854- ) -- Caricatures and cartoons.
United States. Congress. -- Caricatures and cartoons.

Associated Titles

Denver post.
Los Angeles times.


American wit and humor, Pictorial.
Caricatures and cartoons -- California -- Los Angeles.
Caricatures and cartoons -- United States.
Cartoonists -- California -- Los Angeles.
Cartoonists -- United States.
Civil rights movements -- United States -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Cold War -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Demonstrations -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Editorial cartoons -- California -- Los Angeles.
Editorial cartoons -- United States.
Elections -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Nuclear weapons -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Peace -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Poverty -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Public welfare -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Pulitzer Prizes.
Space Exploration -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
World politics -- 1945-1989 -- Caricatures and cartoons.


United States -- Politics and government -- 1963-1969 -- Caricatures and cartoons.

Genres and Forms

Cartoons (humorous images)
Editorial cartoons.



Return to top

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Paul Conrad Cartoons,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Majority of collection, gift of Paul Conrad, 1969. One cartoon, gift of Fran Kaizer, 2021. Twenty-one cartoons, gift of Kristin Olson Jensen, 2022.

Finding Aid Information

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); 11 Sep 2023 - 22 items added (MRC)

Return to top


Click here for a detailed inventory. See end of this inventory for an index to the cartoons.
Oversize 1, Folder 0 Cartoons 1962-1963
Gift of Kristin Olson Jensen, 2022.
Oversize 1, Folder 1 Cartoons 1963
Oversize 1, Folder 2 Cartoons 1964
Oversize 1, Folder 3 Cartoons Feb 1964
Oversize 1, Folder 4 Cartoons Mar 1964
Oversize 1, Folder 5 Cartoons Apr 1964
Oversize 1, Folder 6 Cartoons May 1964
Oversize 1, Folder 7 Cartoons Jun 1964
Oversize 2, Folder 1 Cartoons Jul 1964
Oversize 2, Folder 2 Cartoons Aug 1964
Oversize 2, Folder 3 Cartoons Sep 1964
Oversize 2, Folder 4 Cartoons Oct 1964
Oversize 2, Folder 5 Cartoons Nov 1964
Oversize 2, Folder 6 Cartoons Dec 1964
Oversize 3, Folder 1 Cartoons Jan 1965
Oversize 3, Folder 2 Cartoons Feb 1965
Oversize 3, Folder 3 Cartoons Mar 1965
Oversize 3, Folder 4 Cartoons Apr 1965
Oversize 3, Folder 5 Cartoons May 1965
Oversize 3, Folder 6 Cartoons Jun 1965
Oversize 3, Folder 7 Cartoons Jul 1965
Oversize 3, Folder 8 Cartoons Aug 1965
Oversize 4, Folder 1 Cartoons Sep 1965
Oversize 4, Folder 2 Cartoons Oct 1965
Oversize 4, Folder 3 Cartoons Nov 1965
Oversize 4, Folder 4 Cartoons Dec 1965
Oversize 5, Folder 1 Cartoons Jan 1966
Oversize 5, Folder 2 Cartoons Feb 1966
Oversize 5, Folder 3 Cartoons Mar 1966
Oversize 5, Folder 4 Cartoons Apr 1966
Oversize 5, Folder 5 Cartoons May 1966
Oversize 5, Folder 6 Cartoons Jun 1966
Oversize 6, Folder 1 Cartoons Jul 1966
Oversize 6, Folder 2 Cartoons Aug 1966
Oversize 6, Folder 3 Cartoons Sep 1966
Oversize 6, Folder 4 Cartoons Oct 1966
Oversize 6, Folder 5 Cartoons Nov 1966
Oversize 6, Folder 6 Cartoons Dec 1966
Oversize 7, Folder 1 Cartoons Jan 1967
Oversize 7, Folder 2 Cartoons Feb 1967
Oversize 7, Folder 3 Cartoons Mar 1967
Oversize 7, Folder 4 Cartoons Apr 1967
Oversize 7, Folder 5 Cartoons May 1967
Oversize 7, Folder 6 Cartoons Jun 1967
Oversize 8, Folder 1 Cartoons Jul 1967
Oversize 8, Folder 2 Cartoons Aug 1967
Oversize 8, Folder 3 Cartoons Sep 1967
Oversize 8, Folder 4 Cartoons Oct 1967
Oversize 8, Folder 5 Cartoons Nov 1967
Oversize 8, Folder 6 Cartoons Dec 1967
Oversize 9, Folder 1 Cartoons Jan 1968
Oversize 9, Folder 2 Cartoons Feb 1968
Oversize 9, Folder 3 Cartoons Mar 1968
Oversize 9, Folder 4 Cartoons Apr 1968
Oversize 9, Folder 5 Cartoons May 1968
Oversize 9, Folder 6 Cartoons Jun 1968
Oversize 10, Folder 1 Cartoons Jul 1968
Oversize 10, Folder 2 Cartoons Aug 1968
Oversize 10, Folder 3 Cartoons Sep 1968
Oversize 10, Folder 4 Cartoons Oct 1968
Oversize 10, Folder 5 Cartoons Nov 1968
Oversize 10, Folder 6 Cartoons Dec 1968
Oversize 10, Folder 7 Cartoons Jan 1969
Oversize 10, Folder 8 Cartoons Nov 1986
Gift of Fran Kaizer, 2021.
Oversize 1, Folder 8 Cartoons undated

Return to top

Index to cartoons

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= Oversize 1 Folder 1.

Return to top