Edward Ignatius Valigursky was born October 16, 1926 in Arnold, Pennsylvania. His father was Jakub Valigursky and his mother was Anathasia Valigursky. His parents had both immigrated from Czechoslovakia. There were seven children in the Valigursky family and Edward was the sixth-born. They lived at 1416 Third Avenue, in a home which they owned. The father was a laborer at the ALCOA Plant (Aluminium Company of America) in nearby New Kensington, where almost everyone in his neighborhood was also employed. He eventually became the foreman of the Alcoa glass factory.
All of the children in the family attended public school. Ed Valigursky began to make drawings to amuse his classmates, brothers, and sisters.
In 1945 during the last year of WWII he joined the U.S. Navy and served until 1948.
After his discharge from the Navy he studied at the Art Institute of Chicago on the G. I. Bill. He completed his studies at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. He began to sell drawings to pulp magazines while still an art student.
After graduating in 1952 he moved to New York City to work as a freelance artist drawing pen & ink interior story illustrations for Ziff-Davis pulp magazines, such as Amazing Stories and Fantastic Adventures. He occasionally used the pseudonym, William Rembach.
In 1954 he married Rita Valigursky and moved to Hammond Place in Maywood, New Jersey. They raised two children, Lisa and Edward. He commuted to NYC to work as an art director for Ziff-Davis Publications. He continued to supplement his income by selling freelance covers and interior illustrations to Amazing Stories, IF, Orbit, and Fantastic Adventures.
He illustrated books for such publishers as Bantam Books, Ballantine Books, Lippincott, Macfadden Publications, and Time-Life Books. He illustrated science fiction novels by Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and Ray Bradbury.
He also illustrated stories for men's adventure magazines, such as Saga, True Adventure, and Argosy.
During the 1960s he contributed several freelance illustrations to classic trading cards sets, including Batman and Battle!, which were produced by Topps Bubble Gum Company, where he worked along with Norman Saunders and Wally Wood.
In 1963 he moved to 71 Hummingbird Court in Wyckoff, NJ.
In the 1970s he was invited to NASA to illustrate the spectacular space program for Popular Mechanics, where he continued to work until the 1980s.
After retiring from commercial illustration in the 1990s he began to produce fine art paintings that celebrated the history of aviation. These were exhibited at the Pentagon, the Royal Air Force Museum in London, The IBM Gallery, and The Smith Gallery of NYC.
In 1988 he moved to Cape Coral, Florida.
Ed Valigursky died of heart failure at his home at the age of eighty-two on September 7, 2009.
According to the artist's daughter-in-law, Michelle Valigursky, "He was always very humble and never bragged about the accomplishments of his art career, and that made him so endearing, because he was actually so gifted and honored."
© David Saunders 2009