Slaughterhouse-Five and Catch-22 Cover Artist Passes Away

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Paul Bacon, who designed more than 6,500 book covers, passed away on June 8th from a stroke.

The list of books for which Bacon designed covers reads like a who’s who of literary and popular fiction: Ragtime by E. L. Doctorow, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey, Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth, and many more. Most of Bacon’s covers feature bold lettering paired with a small image related to the text.

“‘He didn’t see himself as a sensitive artist; he was there to serve,’ said [Robert] Gottlieb, who worked with Mr. Bacon [at Simon and Schuster] for many years. ‘If you rejected the first one, he was happy to do a 10th one. We worked and worked until it was right.’”


Kelly Lynn Thomas reads, writes, and sometimes sews in Pittsburgh, PA. Her creative work has appeared in Sou’wester, Thin Air Magazine, Heavy Feather Review, metazen, and others, and she received her MFA in Creative Writing from Chatham University. She is hopelessly obsessed with Star Wars and can always be found with a large mug of tea. She also runs the very small Wild Age Press. Read more at kellylynnthomas.com. More from this author →