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Remembering Ed Koren (1935-2023)

Ed Koren, a celebrated American cartoonist, illustrator, and an American Academy Distinguished Visitor in fall 2003, passed away on April 14, 2023, at the age of 87. He leaves behind a legacy of wit and humor that captured the hearts and imaginations of readers around the world.

Koren was born on December 13, 1935, in New York City. He studied at Columbia University and later at the Pratt Institute, where he received a degree in fine arts. It was during his time at Pratt that Koren began to develop his unique style of cartooning, which he would go on to refine and perfect over the course of his career.

Koren’s first cartoon was published in 1962 the New Yorker, a publication with which his drawings would become synonymous. His distinctive, scratchy lines and offbeat humor were an instant hit with readers. He went on to become one of the most beloved cartoonists in the magazine’s history and continued to contribute cartoons to the publication for over five decades, earning numerous accolades along the way. Koren’s work was also featured in many other publications, including The Nation, New York Times, Newsweek, Vanity Fair, and Wall Street Journal.

Koren illustrated several beloved children’s books, including A Dog’s Life by Peter Mayle, and wrote and illustrated numerous books of his own, including Do You Want To Talk About It? and The Hard Work of Simple Living. Koren was also a beloved teacher who taught at the Pratt Institute for over 30 years. His is home, however, was the small town of Brookfield, Vermont, where he belonged to the volunteer fire company.

He will be greatly missed by his fans, colleagues, and friends. He is survived by his wife and two children. The American Academy in Berlin mourns Koren’s loss and offers its condolences to his family, friends, and peers.

Photo: Ed Koren at the American Academy in Berlin, fall 2003. Photo: Maak Roberts

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