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November 16, 2006

Paul Rigby, 1924-2006


The Australian editorial cartoonist Paul Rigby, aka "Rigby," a fixture at the New York Post and New York Daily News during the 1980s and a revered figure in his home country of Australia, died last night following a massive heart attack earlier Wednesday. He was 82 years old.

Born in Melbourne, Rigby began worked as a commercial artist at the age of 15. He later became a veteran of the Royal Australian Air Force and served during World War II in the African and European theaters. He progressed from illustrator to full-time editorial cartoonist by 1952. In the 1960s, Rigby joined the ranks of his country's most-honored cartoonists, winning Walkley Awards (the Australian equivalent to the Pulitzer) in 1960, 1961, 1963, 1966, 1968 and 1969. His cartoons, marked by a super-lush, almost luxuriant approach to the visuals, were published in both Perth's Daily News and Sydney's Daily Mirror.

In 1969, Rigy headed to London to work for Rupert Murdoch and then back home before heading off to New York, again to work with Murdoch, in what was supposed to be a six-month stint that ended up lasting several years. He worked for the Post until 1984 and then the New York Daily News until 1992, a period during which he won a New York Press Club Award (1981), and a Newspaper Guild Page One Award (1982). One of the most-traveled cartoonists of his generation, Rigby settled down in Margaret River, Western Australia.

A "Lion In Winter"-style profile can be found here. A lovely gallery of work from the artist at the height of his powers can be found here.

Burial plans are pending. He is survived by a wife and a son, Bay Rigby the cartoonist.

caption: "And another thing, your Majesty, it was murder for Yoko at love-in time."
posted 5:26 am PST | Permalink

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