A. Maguire (Aug. 3, 1921 - Feb. 26, 2005) was one of the most acclaimed
and respected illustrators of our time. His career spanned almost
50 years and included more than 600 paperback covers for virtually
every publisher in the industry. He was also my father and my greatest
Robert Maguire attended Duke University until his service in World
War Two. After his return, his interest in art led him to the Art
Student's League, where he studied under the great Frank Reilly.
His classmates included James Bama and Clark Hulings. He is a Member
Emeritus of the renowned Society of Illustrators.
His most famous covers of the fifties and sixties featured his incomparable
female images, some of the best and most memorable of that period.
His women were passionate but somehow real and approachable. All
were beautiful - my father simply loved to paint women. When I asked
him how he felt about being called "The King of Lesbian Paperback
Covers," he laughed and said it was great - he got to paint
two beautiful women instead of just one!
His first paperback cover was for a controversial book called "Tomboy."
It pictures a tough young girl on a gritty street corner. A well-known
writer told me this book cover compelled him to learn and write
about the juvenile delinquent subculture of the fifties
Dad's covers called to the reader - he was one of the few artists
that could sell a book simply on the merits of the artwork on the
cover. Of course, during the fifties and early sixties, the cover
art was often for detective novels that usually appealed primarily
to men. Ironically, my father later became one of the finest cover
artists of romance novels - quite a turn around. Now, his work appeals
to a mainstream female audience. He continued doing these covers
well into the 1990's.
I am fortunate that my father left such a legacy of great illustration
art. I receive mail from people all over the world saying my father's
art inspired them to write, paint, and collect classic paperbacks.
His work in often used as examples in art schools around the world.
There is a book in the works and an upcoming documentary. Do I sound
like a proud daughter? You bet.
For prints, cards, T-shirts or the book
" Dames, Dolls and Gun Molls
The Art of Robert A.Maguire"
please visit his website at: