Keith Birdsong

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Keith Birdsong
Born(1959-07-14)July 14, 1959
DiedJune 4, 2019(2019-06-04) (aged 59)
NationalityUnited States
Known forIllustration
MovementRealism, Science fiction

Keith Birdsong (July 14, 1959 – June 4, 2019)[1] was a Muscogee Creek-Cherokee illustrator,[2] known best for illustrating covers of Star Trek novels, usually depicting the various actors of the Star Trek television series and movies in a realistic manner.

Life and career[edit]

A self-taught artist, Birdsong grew up in Muskogee, Oklahoma, until the age of 15. He subsequently moved to California, and Texas for a year each. He then moved to Missouri, where he finished school, and got married before joining the United States Army, serving in the 82nd Airborne Division. He executed several illustration projects for the Army during this time.[3]

Birdsong worked as a journalist before becoming a professional illustrator.[4] His chosen medium was acrylic paint and colored pencil.[5] He did illustration work for Star Trek, books of the cyberpunk role-playing game Shadowrun, and children's books such as The Halloween Hex: Hi-Tech Howard.

In addition to book covers, Birdsong's work has appeared in films, on collectors' plates for the Hamilton Collection and the Bradford Exchange, and on U.S. postage stamps, including an issuance honoring American Indian dance and six "Celebrate the Century" stamps that commemorated the 1960s.

Birdsong had a daughter named Candice and best friend named Andrea Bowden, who is working to publish his memoirs.[5]


In June 2018, Keith had a hemorrhagic stroke and doctors told him he would never walk or talk again, much less paint. However, Birdsong recovered and returned to painting.


Birdsong died on June 4, 2019, as a result of injuries sustained in a car crash.[6]

Notable clients[edit]

  • United States Post Office
  • Paramount Studios
  • NASA
  • Lucas Film
  • Simon & Schuster
  • Pocket Books
  • New American Library
  • Berkley Books
  • Bradford Exchange
  • Random House
  • Prentice Hall
  • Harlequin
  • Ace Books
  • De Laurentiis Studios
  • Penguin
  • Roc

See also[edit]


  1. ^ World, Jimmie Tramel Tulsa. "Acclaimed 'Star Trek' artist Keith Birdsong dies". Tulsa World.
  2. ^ Carr, Richard. "Special Sheet Features American Indian Dances." Sun Sentinel. 30 June 1996. Retrieved 16 Jan 2011.
  3. ^ "Keith Birdsong - Artist, Fine Art Prices, Auction Records for Keith Birdsong".
  4. ^ "Art of the Stamp".
  5. ^ a b "Keith Birdsong - Artist Keywords and Quick Facts - Keith Birdsong".
  6. ^ Wright, Leif M. (June 4, 2019). "Muskogee Art Legend Keith Birdsong Dies". Muskogee Now.