Frank Kelly Freas (Frank Kelly Freas)

Frank Kelly Freas

Illustrator. Former Mad Magazine illustrator who shaped the image of Alfred E. Newman then became a prolific and influential illustrator of sleek, stirring images for science fiction and fantasy books. Born in Hornell, New York, he demonstrated artistic talent at an early age. During Word War II service in the Pacific theater while assigned to photo reconnaissance, he passed his spare time painting beautiful women on the noses of bomber airplanes. He attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, where he ┬áreceived a Doctor of Arts degree in 1951. He started as a commercial illustrator, but soon moved on to science fiction and fantasy illustrations. Beginning in the 1950s, he spent seven years as the main cover artist of Mad Magazine, creating spot-on, stylishly detailed portraits and helped make famous Alfred E. Newman, the freckled, impish, gapped-teeth ikon known for “What? Me Worry?” His other illustrations included the official patch of NASA’s 1973 Skylab 1 orbiting space station (he was designated an offical NASA artist), as well as the covers of such Mad paperbacks as “Son of Mad” and “Ides of MAD” and the cover of Queen’s 1977 album “News of the World,” and a picture of a werewolf that appeared in the movie “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.” He illustrated publications including Analog, Weird Tales or Astounding Science Fiction, as well as dozens of book covers. His awards included 11 Hugo Awards for his achievements in science fiction, five of them awarded in consecutive years. Awarded Doctor of Arts degree from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh in December 2003. (bio by: Fred Beisser) Cause of death: Natural causes


  • August, 27, 1922
  • USA


  • January, 01, 2005
  • USA

Cause of Death

  • Natural causes


  • Oakwood Memorial Park
  • California
  • USA

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