Robert Edward McGinnis

Robert Edward McGinnis was born in Cincinnati in 1926 and grew up in rural Wyoming, Ohio. His artistic talent was first encouraged by his dad, "Dutch," who helped his son draw such things as his favorite cartoon character, Popeye. Later, despite Robert's complaint that he would rather play ball with his friends (he was athletically talented and keenly competitive), Robert's mother, Mildred, insisted that he attend a drawing class held on Saturdays at the Cincinnati Art Museum. After high school, McGinnis hitchhiked to California and worked as an apprentice at Walt Disney Studios, drawing Mickey Mouse and other characters and learning about cartoon animation. Then World War II interrupted production of animated films, so McGinnis returned home and studied fine art at Ohio State University and took night classes at the Central Academy of Commercial Art. He also played the position of left guard on OSU's football team. In the mid-Fifties he moved to New York City with his wife Ferne, who is also talented, artistically and musically. (They subsequently had three children, and they have lived in Connecticut since 1960.) McGinnis went to work creating advertising posters at the Fredman-Chaite Studios. One day by chance he was introduced to an agent by a fellow artist. The agent took McGinnis's samples to book publisher Dell. As a result, McGinnis was able to shift his career into high gear, and in the ensuing decades he produced an astounding body of top-quality, highly expressive illustrations and fine art paintings.

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