Hector Garrido, a prolific artist and book cover illustrator, whose paintings include the packaging for G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero merchandise, has passed away at the age of 92. The news was recently confirmed by A Real American Book, which reports that Garrido passed away peacefully in his sleep on April 19th. In addition to his work with G.I. Joe - which generations of fans associate with the iconic franchise - he also illustrated book covers for countless pulp, gothic romance, and sci-fi novels, as well as Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books.
Garrido was born in Argentina, and studied art in Buenos Aires, before coming to America and working professionally in the 1950s. Some of his most prominent artwork includes three covers of Time magazine, including an iconic 1969 rendering of the Apollo 8 astronauts. That cover is a permanent fixture of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.
As Garrido writes on his official Flickr page, his work in terms of books and franchises is pretty wide-ranging.
"I am best known to fans of GI Joe and for such book series such as The Three Investigators (I painted all the Crimebusters covers), Danny Dunn, the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, The Destroyer (Remo Williams), and the Baroness," Garrido writes. "My original artwork for GI Joe was featured on the 1980s-era merchandise packaging. For book publishers, I painted the covers of numerous sci-fi, (gothic) romance, and thriller/horror books. Perhaps most notably in the horror genre, I painted the iconic covers for TM Wright's "Strange Seed"/"Children" series."
Outside of that, Garrido also created religious collectible plates for the Bradford Exchange company, with his "Our Lady of Lourdes" plate selling over one million copies.
If you want to admire Garrido's art, or potentially add some of it to your collection, the Flickr account will reportedly remain active, with 100% of the proceeds from the original artwork going to his family.
"You can continue to check back from time to time for new artwork," the website reads. "As the site is maintained for free by a friend of his, there is still original artwork waiting to be photographed and posted. (Please note, this does not include GI Joe, Three Investigators, or Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys. What originals Hector had of those went otherwise out of his possession years ago."
We offer our condolences to Garrido's family, friends, and fans.