‘Mad’ Illustrator Mort Drucker Dies

Mort Drucker, the quintessential Mad Magazine artist — known for his knack for capturing celebrated faces with his careful strokes — died April 9 at his Woodbury, New York, home. He was 91.

The New York Times confirmed Drucker's passing with his daughter, Laurie Bachner.

Born Morris Drucker on March 22, 1929, in Brooklyn, he began working at 18 as an assistant on the comic Debbie Dean, Career Girl, and the strip The Mountain Boys.

This led to a regular gig at DC Comics, an association that lasted well into his tenure at Mad, which began in 1956.

Self-taught, he had to work at his main objective — to create instantly recognizable caricatures of famous targets. His signature format and style were born in 1959, in the Mad strip "The Night Perry Masonmint Lost a Case." He became known for elaborate satires (and double satires) of movies and politics. In that same vein, his 1962 The JFK Coloring Book (with Paul Laikin, 1938-2012) became a 2.5 million-seller.

Drucker was with Mad for longer than any other creative — 55 years — with more than 400 bylines under his belt.

He did not originate Alfred E. Neuman, but he drew him many times over the years.

Among his many other projects, Drucker provided work for the Broadway show Rumple (1957); illustrated The Adventures of Bob Hope (1959-1963); created movie-poster art, including for American Graffiti (1973) and album-cover art, for the Bears and Anthrax; as well as drawing for children's books.

Drucker's covers for Time are in the National Portrait Gallery, and he had been given all manner of illustration awards, including induction into the National Cartoonists Society Hall of Fame in 2017.

He is survived by his wife, their two daughters, and three grandchildren.

Watch Drucker, Dick DeBartolo (b. 1945) and Nick Meglin (1935-2018) speaking about Mad in 1987 below:

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