'The Life of Christ' (The Whittier News, 7 April 1927).

Paul Kroesen was an illustrator for the Newspaper Enterprise Association. He made drawings related to news events, but also worked on some of the syndicate's educational comic strips, such as 'The Romance of America' (1926-1927) and 'The Life of Christ' (1927).

Early life and career
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1901, his full name was either Paul Joseph Kroesen (according to his obituary) or Paul Justin Kroesen (according to findagrave.com). His father John worked as a brakeman for the New York Central Railroad. Paul Kroesen was a song illustrator and sign designer before beginning his affiliation with the NEA News Service and its EveryWeek Magazine during the 1920s and 1930s.


News illustration covering the assassination of King Alexander I of Yugoslavia in Marseille (The Capital Times, 10 October 1934).

News sketch artist
At the NEA, Kroesen was mainly active as a news sketch artist, often illustrating the editorials by Bruce Catton. He notably covered the kidnapping of the baby of aviator Charles Lindbergh, which dominated the headlines during most of the 1932-1935 period. Kroesen not only illustrated the news, but also captured the sentiments and suspense of the tragic event. A drawing of the Lindbergh baby earned Kroesen a Pulitzer Prize nomination. Following the arrest of the alleged kidnapper Richard Hauptmann, Kroesen envisioned the expressions of both Lindbergh and the accused, when they would first face each other during the so-called "Trial of the Century". It was printed in the newspapers on 27 September 1934.


Illustrations related to the Lindbergh kidnapping from 10 March 1932 and 14 May 1932.

Fiction and non-fiction serials
Kroesen also provided illustrations to the NEA's fiction serials, such as 'Jungle Breath' by Lucien Burman in 1927 and 'Sunrise of the Wheat' by James Stevens in 1935. He was assigned to draw installments in the syndicate's educational comic feature 'The Romance of America', a series of biographical picture stories about important persons from US history, written by Bill Brauch. Kroesen illustrated the lives of Sam Houston (28 October-18 November 1926), Roger Williams (19 November-9 December 1926), Andrew Jackson (18-30 April 1927), John Jacob Astor (2-11 May 1927) and P.T. Barnum (12 May-7 June 1927). Kroesen also illustrated the interlude episodes 'The Life of Christ' by Dr. William E. Gilroy (2 March - 16 April 1927) and 'The Picture Story of 1926' (10-31 December 1926). Other illustrators for 'The Romance of America' were Larry Redner, Loron Taylor and Phil V. Bessey.


'The Romance of America' (The Rutland News, 10 December 1926).

Later life and death
Paul Kroesen was noted for hismany religious drawings, including a rendition of Da Vinci's Last Supper commissioned by the Diocese of Cleveland in 1935 for the Eucharistic Congress. The artist was only 34, when he passed away from bronchial pneumonia on 15 October 1935. His obituary issued by the NEA called him "one of America's outstanding newspaper artists", whose "superb illustrations for the last decade have graced thousands of feature stories in papers throughout the United States".


The Pomona Progress Bulletin (28 Octpber 1935).

Series and books by Paul Kroesen in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:

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