Editorial cartoonist and political caricaturist Ranan Lurie has passed away.
AP Photo/Richard Freeda
Ranan Raymond Lurie
May 26, 1932 – June 8, 2022
Ranan Lurie, an Israeli war hero and world peacemaker who set records as the world’s most widely syndicated political cartoonist, died on Wednesday in Las Vegas. He was 90.
His death, at an assisted living center, was confirmed by his son Rod Lurie.
At his peak, Mr. Lurie’s evocative caricatures appeared in about 1,000 publications with more than 100 million readers in 100 countries, setting a benchmark in the Guinness Book of Records in the 1980s (since surpassed by Johnny Hart, creator of The Wizard of Id and B.C.).
His first of some 12,000 cartoons was published in the newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth in 1948…
In 1968, after working as a caricaturist for The Air Force Journal, an Israeli military publication, and as an illustrator and political cartoonist for Israeli newspapers, he was recruited by Life magazine…
above LIFE spread from Cartooning for Peace
His work at Life led to later stints as a political cartoonist with Le Figaro, Paris Match, The Times of London, Die Welt in Germany, Asahi Shimbun in Japan, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report, Time International, The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs and The New York Times.
After he was recruited by Life magazine, he moved to the United States, where he became a naturalized citizen in 1974. His cartoons were syndicated by King Features, Universal Press and The New York Times Syndicate. In 1985, he started his own syndicate, Cartoons International, which was managed by his wife, Tamar (Fletcher) Lurie, a real estate executive.
At first Lurie was on exclusive contract to Life Magazine, but he managed to negotiate greater freedom. In 1970 he began contributing to the New York Times, and by the time that Life Magazine folded in 1972, he had a contract with the New York Times Special Features Syndicate, allowing him complete editorial freedom.
In 1973 he began producing a full-page cartoon feature “Lurie’s Opinion” for Newsweek International, claiming an audience of thirty-two million for this feature, which lasted until 1976.
Lurie also acted as editor and political cartoonist of Vision Magazine, and was a freelance contributor to the Wall Street Journal, and to Paris-Match. In 1979 he became staff political cartoonist on the Honolulu Advertiser, and in 1980 took a job as interviewer and cartoonist for the German newspaper Die Welt. However, despite accepting a two-year appointment, Lurie stayed at Die Welt for only nine months and left accusing the paper of breach of contract. In May 1981 Harold Evans recruited Lurie as staff political cartoonist for The Times – the first since Mahood.
[H]is job at The Times lasted only twenty months, and in 1983 he took a year’s job on the editorial staff of the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun, as cartoonist and political interviewer. In 1984 he became Senior Analyst and Political Cartoonist for US News and World Report, but left after fifteen months. In 1985 he became Chief Editorial Director of the Editors’ Press Syndicate, and experimented with television cartooning for PBS’s MacNeil/Lehrer Newshour. Lurie extended this to animated political cartoons, which appeared on American television in ABC’s Nightline from 1991 to 1993.
In 1994 Lurie began producing a weekly political cartoon page called “Lurie’s World” for Time International magazine, until in 1996 he founded and became editor-in-chief of Cartoon News. In 1997 he became the first political cartoonist for the Swiss paper Neue ZÃ¼rcher Zeitung, working from his studio in New York, until in 2000 he became political cartoonist for Foreign Affairs magazine.
Lurie draws in ink with fine hatching and a liberal use of solid blacks, but also paints in oils and sculpts. He considers that humour in cartooning is incidental to the political message, writing that “the funny side of the political cartoon is not an aim in itself, only a tool or a bait to bring the reader closer to the cartoonist’s message.”
For a time of a few decades Ranan was everywhere … and appreciated. RIP
4 thoughts on “Ranan Lurie – RIP”
R.I.P , Ranan Lurie .
He also sponsored the United Nations Ranan Lurie Political Cartoon Award for many years, which many AAEC members (including me) placed it.
Very sorry to see this. As Steve mentioned above, he sponsored the UN award, but more than that, he put up his OWN money for the prize money — and it was substantial. When it came to supporting editorial cartoonists, he put his money where his mouth was. Sincere condolences to the family.
A high-point in my life was working as Ranan’s assistant in his NY studio between 1988-’90. It was an experience that changed my perception on syndication and cartooning which has affected me to this day…R.I.P. Ranan.
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