Thomas Lovell (February 5, 1909 – June 29, 1997) was an American illustrator and painter who was a prolific creator of pulp fiction magazine covers and of visual art of the American West. He produced illustrations for magazines such as National Geographic. He was inducted into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame in 1974.
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In 1944, illustrator Tom Lovell joined the U.S. Marines with the hope that he would be assigned as a combat artist. He ended up serving for two years as a sergeant and staff artist with John Clymer for Leatherneck magazine, a publication for the U.S. Marines.
Lovell died in a car crash in New Mexico in 1997.
A portion of his painting of General Quitman's 1847 entry into Mexico City with a battalion of marines was used as the cover artwork for the wargame The Halls of Montezuma.
Thomas Lovell was born February 5, 1909 in a New York City hospital. His father was Henry S. Lovell Jr, a telephone engineer in the early years of that industry. His mother was Edith Scott (Russell) Lovell. His brother Bob was two years older and his sister Margaret was three years younger. They lived at 39 Alexander Avenue in Nutley, New Jersey.
In 1927 he was the valedictorian at his high school graduation, where he spoke on "the ill treatment of the American Indian by the U. S. Government.”
He attended Syracuse University, where his roommate was the future illustrator, Harry Anderson. He also attended classes with Elton Fax, another art student who went on to illustrate pulp magazines.
While still at school, he began to sell illustrations to pulp magazines. In 1931 he graduated Syracuse University, where he also met his future wife, Gloyd "Pink" Simmons.
He went on to paint covers for Ace-High Western, Clues, Complete, Detective Tales, Dime Detective, Rangeland Romances, Star Western, and Top-Notch. He also drew pen & ink interior story illustrations for The Shadow, Courtroom Stories, Popular Western, Triple Western, and Clues.
In 1934 he and "Pink" married and moved to Norwalk, Connecticut, where they raised their two children, David and Deborah.
After 1936, Tom Lovell began to work regularly for advertising agencies and slick magazines, such as The American, Woman's Home Companion, and Cosmopolitan.
In WWII Lovell joined the Marine Corps Reserve and was sent as a Staff Sergeant to Washington. DC, along with his friend, the artist John Clymer, to illustrate the Marine Corps magazine, Leatherneck.
After the war, Lovell continued to work for slick magazines, such as McCall's, Redbook, Ladies Home Journal, and Colliers. He also painted an historical series for National Geographic Magazine.
During the 1960s, Lovell was commissioned to create a series of paintings about Western oil exploration, as well as several paintings for the Mormon church.
According to the artist, "I consider myself a storyteller with a brush. I try to place myself back in imagined situations that would make interesting and appealing pictures. I am intent on producing paintings that relate to the human experience.”
In 1972 he moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico. He and his daughter both died in a tragic car crash on June 29, 1997.