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Robert Kennedy Abbett (January 5, 1926 – June 20, 2015) was an American artist and illustrator.


Abbett was born in 1926 in Hammond, Indiana.

During the late-1950s, 1960s and 1970s, Robert Abbett, also credited as Bob Abbett, illustrated book covers for war novels, detective novels, thrillers, historical fiction and science fiction. Today, Abbett is best known for his paintings of wildlife (in particular, dogs), wilderness, sporting, and fishing.

His illustrations have been featured in a large number of books, magazines, and advertising. He has also authored or been featured in several art-related books, including A Season for Painting: The Outdoor Paintings of Robert K. Abbett and Wings from Cover: The Upland Images of Robert Abbett and Ed Gray.

Abbett is a graduate of both the University of Missouri and Purdue University. In 1953, Abbett moved to rural Connecticut where he built a house on an old farm (namely, Oakdale Farm[1]). There, Abbett was inspired by the untouched wilderness and forests, and began painting what he has become famous for today: animals and countrylife.

He died on June 20, 2015 at the age of 89 in Bridgewater, Connecticut.[2]
Book covers illustrations

Robert K. Abbett was an illustrator for Ballantine Books,[3] Pyramid Books and Ace Books, as well as Gold Medal, Avon, Permabook, and Pocket Books. He illustrated Edgar Rice Burroughs' books,[4] including the Tarzan series,[5] Barsoom series,[6][7] and Pellucidar [8][9] series.


The Quiet American by Graham Greene, Bantam Books, 1957
The Devil to Pay by Ellery Queen (pseudonym), Pocket Books, 1958
Spearhead by Franklin M. Davis, Jr., Permabooks, 1958
Justice, My Brother by James Keene (author) (pseudonym of William Everett Cook), Dell Books, 1959
Turn on the Heat by A.A. Fair, Dell Books 1959
Colonel Hugh North Solves The MULTI-MILLION-DOLLAR MURDERS, by F. Van Wyck Mason, Cardinal Edition, 1960
Fear is the Key by Alistair MacLean, Permabook, 1960
Kiss Off the Dead by Garrity, Gold Medal, 1960
Mark Kilby and the Miami Mob by Robert Caine Frazer, Pocket Books, 1960
Plot It Yourself by Rex Stout, Bantam Books, 1960
The Fix by Jack Usher, Pocket Books, Inc., 1961
The Grave's in the Medal by Manning Lee Stokes, Dell 1961
The Counterfeit Courier by James C. Sheers, Dell Books, 1961
Born of Battle by Robert Crane,[10] Pyramid Books, 1962
Cry, Baby by Jack Ehrlich, Dell 1962
The Girl From Midnight by Robert Wade and Bill Miller, Gold Medal Books, 1962
Cleopatra, by Jeffry K. Gardner, 1962
Earth Abides, by George R. Stewart, Ace Books 1962
The Hate Merchant by Niven Busch, Macfadden Books, 1962
Tobruk (novel) by Peter Rabe, Bantam Books
Acapulco G.P.O. by Day Keene, Dell Books
The Life and Good Times of Randolf Hearst, by John Tebbel, Paperback Library, Inc., 1962
The Case Against Satan by Ray Russell, Paperback Library, Inc., 1963
The Bowl of Brass by Paul Wellman, Paperback Library, Inc.
Assignment—Stella Marni (Sam Durell Series) by Edward S. Aarons, Gold Medal Book, 1965
A Woman of the People by Benjamin Capps, Duell, Sloan & Pearce, 1966
Chicago 11 by Day Keen, Dell, 1966
The Dark Fantastic by Whit Masterson (pseudonym of Robert Wade and H. Bill Miller), Avon Books, 1966
In the Last Analysis by Amanda Cross (pseudonym of Carolyn G. Heilbrun), 1966 (ISBN 0380545101)
The Bull Whip Breed by J. T. Edson, Bantam Books, 1969


Tarzan of the Apes, Ballantine 1969
The Return of Tarzan, Ballantine, 1969
The Beasts of Tarzan, Ballantine 1969
The Son of Tarzan, Ballantine 1969
Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar, Ballantine 1969
Jungle Tales of Tarzan, Ballantine 1969
Tarzan the Untamed, Ballantine 1969
Tarzan the Terrible, Ballantine 1969
Tarzan and the Golden Lion, Ballantine 1969
Tarzan and the Ant Men, Ballantine 1969
Tarzan and the Lost Empire, Ballantine 1969
Tarzan at the Earth's Core, Ballantine 1970
Tarzan the Invincible, Ballantine 1970
Tarzan Triumphant, Ballantine 1970
Tarzan and the City of Gold, Ballantine 1970
Tarzan and the Lion Man, Ballantine 1970
Tarzan and the Leopard Men, Ballantine 1970
Tarzan's Quest, Ballantine 1974[11]
Tarzan and the Foreign Legion, Ballantine, 1964[12]
Tarzan and the Madman, Ballantine 1965[13]
Tarzan and the Castaways, Ballantine, 1965[14]

Barsoom (Mars)
Front cover of the 1963 Ballantine Books paperback edition of Chessmen of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Cover illustration by Robert Abbett (Illustrator).

A Princess of Mars, Ballantine 1963
The Gods of Mars, Ballantine 1963
The Warlord of Mars, Ballantine 1963
Thuvia, Maid of Mars, Ballantine 1963, 1969 (new painting)
The Chessmen of Mars, Ballantine 1963
The Master Mind of Mars, Ballantine 1963
A Fighting Man of Mars, Ballantine 1963
Swords of Mars, Ballantine 1963
Synthetic Men of Mars, Ballantine 1963
Llana of Gathol, Ballantine 1963
John Carter of Mars, Ballantine 1965


Tarzan at the Earth's Core, Ballantine 1974


Abbett illustrated books for Edgar Rice Burroughs. Burroughs wrote a novel called The Oakdale Affair.
Dr. Michael S. Smith. "ACE SF K-Series Singles Image Library". Retrieved 2008-03-08.
Robert R. Barrett. "To Bora-Bora and Back Again: The Story of Armstrong W. Sperry". Retrieved 2008-03-08.
Nick Knowles. "ERB Paperback Collector U.S. First Editions". Retrieved 2008-03-08.
FALCONER'S FANTASY BOOKS. "The Barsoom Series The John Carter Trilogy". Retrieved 2008-03-10.
Nick Knowles. "Mars Series: Ballantine Books Series 1 Cover art by Robert Abbett". Retrieved 2008-03-10.
Nick Knowles. "Pellucidar 4". Retrieved 2008-03-10.
von Horst. "Tarzan at the Earth's Core Publishing History". Retrieved 2008-03-10.
Barnard, Jeff (September 8, 1984). "With 97 Pen Names, Con Sellers Loses Taack of Stories He's Written". Schenectady Gazette. pp. Supplement Page 21. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
ERBzine.com. "ERB CHRONOLOGICAL BIBLIOGRAPHY". Retrieved 2008-03-11.
ERBzine.com. "TARZAN AND "THE FOREIGN LEGION". Retrieved 2008-03-11.
Burroughs Bibliophiles, Inc. "BURROUGHS BULLETIN Illustrated Bibliography IV: Issues 61 - 80". Retrieved 2008-03-11.

Tarzan.com. "TARZAN AND THE CASTAWAYS". Retrieved 2008-03-11.

External links

Robert K. Abbett official website, with paintings and a biography.
Bob Abbett at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
AskART Robert Abbett biography
A large version of the 1962 painting by Robert Abbett for the Ace Book Earth Abides
Painting for the 1969 cover of The Convenient Marriage, by Georgette Heyer.
This page has an interview/biography of Robert K. Abbett that talks about his career as a book illustrator.

Artist, USA


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