Alan E. Cober

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Alan E. Cober
Born 1935
Died 1998
Nationality American
Known for Illustration

Alan E. Cober (1935–1998) was an American illustrator. His artwork appeared in The New York Times, Life, and Time. He also illustrated a series of children's books, called Cober's Animals.

Cober was born in New York City, and attended the University of Vermont and the School of Visual Arts. While working as an illustrator for over 30 years, he also taught at the State University of New York at Buffalo, the University of Georgia, and the Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida.

According to the New York Times, "Mr. Cober was one of a small group of American illustrators who injected the precepts of modern art into commercial art. His magazine illustrations rejected realistic painting for expressive and symbolic drawing and water-color rendering. They did not mimic a passage of a text, as was the convention, but complemented it with interpretation."[1]

In addition to his commercial editorial work, Cober filled many sketchbooks with drawings and paintings. His drawings of institutionalized people (prisoners, the mentally disabled and the elderly) were compiled into a book called The Forgotten Society (Dover Books, 1972). An exhibition of his work, titled Alan E. Cober: A Retrospective Afterlife, was organized by the Ringling School and appeared at the University at Buffalo.[2]

In 1998, Cober died[3] of a heart attack while swimming on vacation in Florida.

In 2011, Cober was posthumously inducted into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame for lifetime achievements in illustration.[4]


  1. "Alan E. Cober, News and Book Illustrator". New York Times. January 21, 1998.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "The Buffalo News".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "The New York Times Death Announcements". New York Times. January 21, 1998.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>