Robert McGinnis

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Robert McGinnis
Born (1926-02-03) February 3, 1926 (age 98)
Occupation(s)Artist, illustrator
Cover of Carter Brown's novel Nymph to the Slaughter by Robert McGinnis, 1963

Robert Edward McGinnis (born February 3, 1926)[1] is an American artist and illustrator. McGinnis is known for his illustrations of more than 1,200 paperback book covers,[2] and over 40 movie posters, including Breakfast at Tiffany's (his first film poster assignment),[3] Barbarella, and several James Bond and Matt Helm films.[4]


Born Robert Edward McGinnis in Cincinnati, Ohio, he was raised in Wyoming, Ohio.

McGinnis became an apprentice at Walt Disney Studios, then studied fine art at Ohio State University.[2] After wartime service in the Merchant Marine he entered advertising and a chance meeting with Mitchell Hooks in 1958 led him to be introduced to Dell Publishing began a career drawing a variety of paperback covers for books written by such authors as Donald Westlake (writing as Richard Stark), Edward S. Aarons, Erle Stanley Gardner, Richard S. Prather, and the Michael Shayne and Carter Brown series.[5]

McGinnis later did artwork for Ladies' Home Journal, Woman's Home Companion, Good Housekeeping, TIME, Argosy, Guideposts, and The Saturday Evening Post.[5]

He was main title designer for The Hallelujah Trail (1965).[6]

McGinnis's attention to detail was such that when he was assigned to do the artwork for Arabesque he requested Sophia Loren's tiger stripe dress be sent for him for a model to wear so he could get the right appearance.[3]

In 1985, McGinnis was awarded the title of "Romantic Artist of the Year" by Romantic Times magazine for his many romance novel paperback covers.[2]

Since 2004, McGinnis has created cover illustrations for the Hard Case Crime paperback series.

Starting in 2016, McGinnis has painted a number of retro-style covers for reissues of books by Neil Gaiman.[7]

He is a member of the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame.[8] McGinnis is the subject of a documentary film, Robert McGinnis: Painting the Last Rose of Summer, by Paul Jilbert.[3]


  1. ^ "Robert McGinnis." Flickr
  2. ^ a b c Biography: McGinnis, Robert. - Cavalier Galleries Archived 2008-06-17 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b c Jilbert, Paul. - Celebrating Films of the 1960s & 1970s: New DVD Documentary on Legendary Movie Poster Artist Robert McGinnis". - Cinema Retro. - May 13, 2008
  4. ^ Nourmand, Tony (2001). James Bond Movie Posters: The Official 007 Collection. Macmillan Pub Limited. ISBN 978-0-7522-2017-8.
  5. ^ a b Virtual Pin-ups Art Gallery: artist Robert McGinnis/9[permanent dead link]. - ImageNETion
  6. ^ Robert McGinnis at IMDb
  7. ^ "Neil Gaiman".
  8. ^ Hall of Fame Archived April 16, 2020, at the Wayback Machine - Society of Illustrators


  • Fenner, Cathy; Fenner, Arnie (2000). Tapestry: The Paintings of Robert McGinnis. Underwood Books. ISBN 978-1-887424-56-1.
  • Scott, Art; McGinnis, Robert E.; Dr Wallace Maynard (2001). The Paperback Covers of Robert McGinnis: A Complete Listing of the 1,068 Titles and 1,432 Editions of the Paperback Cover Illustrations of Robert McGinnis. Pond Press. ISBN 978-0-9666776-4-5.
  • McGinnis, Robert E.; Scott, Art (2014). The Art of Robert E. McGinnis. Titan Books. ISBN 9781781162170.

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