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Biography: Howard Brodie

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Birth:November 18, 1915, in Oakland, CA


Sports Artist, War Artist, Courtroom Artist

Bio Summary

Howard Brodie was borrn on November 18, 1915 and went to California School of Fine Arts in Sacramento. He didn’t stay there long and he worked as a sports illustrator for the newspaper the San Fransico Cronicle.
At the age of twnety-seven, he enlisted in the army as World War II broke out. With his art background and experience drawing the human figure, he worked as a war time artist for a magazine called “Yank”.
After World War II ended, Brodie continued doing War Illustrations in Vietnam, French Indochina, and Korea.
In 1953 He went back to work at the San Fransico Cronicle. He also later in life became a courtroom artist and did sketches for many famous trials, even some where media was not allowed to film.
Today he is almost 93 years old living in California with his wife. His son also lives nearby.

Early Life/Family

He went to the California School of Fine Arts in Sacramento for a short period of time. After that He inlisted in the army and served for the majority of his life, always keeping the military close to his heart.


He didn’t finish schooling, but he worked as an sports illustrator and drew college football programs. He also had on the job training doing his famous wartime illustrations. Although he didn’t have much professional education, he learned a lot on the job and became an insightful artist.

Career Outline

Started out as a sports illustrator and when World War II broke out he became a war illustrator. Later in life he became a courtroom illustrator.

Comments On Style

His style is sketchy and quick, because of his subject matter. The focus of his work is people in motion, either in sports, combat, or in the courtroom. He had no time to be neat. His style hindges on evoking feeling to show the viewer the emotion behind the actions and the sadness in his subjects.


Brodie was influenced by his work as a sports illustrator. He became an expert on quickly capturing a moment and emotion even with his always changing surroundings. Even after the war


From the interview I read from him, it seems as though he is a very serious man. He has seen horrible things that most people can’t even imagine. His past has greatly affected him and his art.


This man has gone through hard times and been in many dangerous situations that nothing can scare him now! He even lives over the San Andreas Fault. Danger has always been part of Howard Brodie’s life, even in his nineties.


Because of his illustration jobs, Brodie was able to witness many historical events throughout American history including the Battle of the Bulge and Guadalcanal and such court cases as Charles Manson, the Shooting of Ronald Reagan, and the Chicago Seven.


Howard Brodie was featured in the documentary “They Drew Fire” directed by Brian Lanker. It focused on the over 100 wartime artists during World War II, including Howard Brodie.


Because he was put in harms way many times during dangerous combat zones, Brodie was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, USAF

Related Links
ASIFA: Cartooning: Byrnes’ Complete Guide To Cartooning Part Three
ASIFA: Cartooning: Byrnes’ Complete Guide To Cartooning Part Five

Bibliographic References’_story_5-27.html

Contributors To This Listing
Enoch Allen
Mallory Carlson

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