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1951-11 Fantastic Adv.
1958-10 Amazing
1953-09 Saga Magazine
1959-09 Saga Magazine
1954-05 IF Magazine
1960 Ace Double D-449
1956-12 Amazing
1960-07 Life Magazine Ad
1958 Ace Double D-223
1964 Ace F-309
1958-04 Amazing
1965 Battle! cards
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photographic portrait of Ed Valigursky by Ken Steacy, 2007

Photograph of Ed and Rita Valigursky provided by Joe Koomen, 2020

 

ED VALIGURSKY

(1926-2009)

Edward Ignatius Valigursky was born October 16, 1926 in Arnold, Pennsylvania. His father, Jakub Valigursky, was born in 1891 in Nová Ľubovňa, Austria-Hungary. His mother, Anathasia Konkoly, was born in 1893 in the same town. His father came to USA in 1907 at age sixteen. His mother immigrated in 1912 at age nineteen. They married in Pennsylvania in 1914 and had seven children. Edward was their sixth-born child. They lived at 1416 Third Avenue, in a home which they owned. The father was a laborer at the ALCOA Plant (Aluminum 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 local public schools. 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.

In 1951 he painted the cover for the November issue of Fantastic Adventures, which was produced by Ziff-Davis. He also drew an interior story illustration for the January 1952 issue of Amazing Stories from the same publisher.

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 Ed Valigursky married Rita Reis. She was born in 1929 in Darmstadt, Germany, of Jewish ancestry. In 1938, at the age of nine, she came to America with her parents and older sister. The married couple moved to Hammond Place in Maywood, New Jersey, where they raised two children, Lisa and Edward. The artist 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

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