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1951-01 Railroad Magazine
1953-01 Argosy
1951-05 Railroad Magazine
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1952-08 Railroad Magazine
1967 Ace Paperback #659
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1998 Single File
1953-01 Railroad Magazine
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Herbert Morford Mott, Jr. was born November 10, 1923 in Ridgewood, New Jersey. His father was also named Herbert Morford Mott. His mother was Grace Mott. He was the oldest of two sons. The family lived at 26 Circle Avenue in Ridgewood, NJ. His father was a cashier at Outwater & Wells Bond House at 15 Exchange Place in Jersey City, NJ.

While a student at high school, Herb Mott won a prize in an art contest.

On January 4, 1943, during WWII, Herb Mott, age nineteen, joined the U.S. Air Force. At the time of enlistment he was recorded to have been five-foot-eight and 120 pounds. He was sent to the air base on the Pacific island of Guam. He was assigned to the graphic art department, where he illustrated the base newspaper and produced visual aids for pilot training. While working at this job he received his basic training in art skills.

After the war he returned stateside, where he met and married Georgiana Sears, who was born 1927 in Clifton, Idaho. She was raised on her family's farm and attended secretarial school in Ogden, Utah.

Herb Mott was determined to become a commercial artist, so the married couple moved to the East Coast, where many publishers were located. At first the artist and his wife lived in his hometown of Ridgewood, NJ, but they later moved to Glen Rock, NJ, and finally settled in Franklin Lakes, NJ, where they raised four children. Steven (b.1949), Patrice (b.1952), Jeff (b.1956), and Gary (b.1960). After raising four children his wife eventually became an executive secretary at an East Coast sales company.

Herb Mott joined a graphic art studio in New York City and began to sell freelance illustrations. He sold work to book publishers and commercial advertisers. His pen and ink drawings illustrated stories in pulp magazines, such as Fifteen Western Tales and Western Story Round-Up. He is most renowned for his cover paintings for Railroad Magazine, for which he painted fifty-two covers from 1949 to 1954.

In 1956 he became closely involved with an art program at the U.S. Air Force, for which he created over fifty historic paintings for the Air Force Museum. He was also commissioned to make paintings on the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.

During the 1950s he also painted interior story illustrations for many men's adventure magazines, such as Adventure, Argosy, Bluebook, Bluebook For Men, Climax, Male, Men, Men Annual, Men's Pictorial, Real, Saga, See For Men, and Stag.

Herb Mott also illustrated books, such as The Fur Lodge by Beverly Butler for Dodd, Mead (1959), Great Cars of All Time by Irving Robbins (1960), and Great Trains of All Time by Freeman Hubbard for Grosset & Dunlap (1962).

In the 1960s he produced a series of paintings on the Civil War for the Vicksburg Battlefield Museum.

In 1970 he was the editor of Illustrators #11, which was the most important annual publication of the Society of Illustrators in New York.

During the 1970s he continued to work as a freelance illustrator. He produced work for the New Jersey Bell Telephone Company and Turner Construction Company.

In 1993 he moved to New Mexico and began to create a series of paintings about railroad depots at the turn of the twentieth century. He created many covers for Vintage Rails. He also produced many artworks about the historic Western frontier.

According to the artist, "I put together my learning process in every piece I did."

In 1992, at the age of sixty-nine, the artist retired from commercial illustration and left the East Coast. He moved to New Mexico, where he continued to paint and exhibit in the art communities of Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and Taos.

In 2006 he moved to Tucson, Arizona, to live closer to his children's families.

In 2013 he moved to Moab, Utah, where he lived at the Canyonlands Care Center.

Herb Mott died at the age of ninety-three in Moab, Arizona, on June 30, 2017.

                         © David Saunders 2019

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