Abel Quezada, a leading Mexican political cartoonist and painter, died today of leukemia at his home in Cuernavaca. He was 70.
"He was a very gracious man, a born artist," said Lee Lorenz, the art editor of the New Yorker magazine, which featured Quezada covers more than 12 times in the last 10 years.
Mr. Quezada is credited with breaking out of the solemnity that enveloped Mexican political cartooning earlier this century.
Political cartoons have since earned a special niche in Mexico, where cartoonists often express what writers and broadcasters would never dare say.
But it was Quezada's paintings, not his political cartoons, that won him favor at The New Yorker, Mr. Lorenz said.
His first cover, a couple sitting on a Hudson River pier, was published on June 16, 1981.
Mr. Quezada was born in the northern city of Monterrey and began his career nearly a half-century ago in Mexico City, his son, Luis Miguel Quezada, said. His wrk appeared in Mexican newspapers like Excelsior, Novedades and Ovaciones.
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