Frank Kelly Freas

Artist of iconic works from science fiction book covers to NASA astronaut patches.

August 27, 1922 – January 2, 2005

Frank Kelly Freas was one of the most popular science fiction artists of the 20th century. He painted hundreds of magazine covers, most famously for Astounding, as well as countless book covers.

While serving during World War II, Freas exercised his talents painting pinups on bombers. Afterward, he attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and sold one of his school assignments to Weird Tales in 1950, launching his career. Much of his work features vigorous vagabonds, amiable aliens, and jaunty scoundrels.

Freas illustrated stories by science fiction's greatest writers. He also painted covers for Mad Magazine, helping to define the look of Alfred E. Neuman. For NASA, he designed the Skylab 1 shoulder patch and posters.

He won 11 Best Professional Artist Hugo Awards and three Chesley Awards, was elected a fellow of the International Association of Astronomical Artists in 2000, and received a doctorate of arts from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh in 2003.

2006 Inductee