Judy Rae

Kay Conrad

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Paul and Kay Conrad in 1986 at a retirement dinner for television newsman Bill Stout. Photo by Kevin Cody.

Kay Conrad’s focus was local politics

Barbara Kay King Conrad was known worldwide as the wife of Paul Conrad, the acerbic, three-time Pulitzer Prize winning editorial cartoonist for the Los Angeles Times. But to Kay, her husband’s fame was relatively inconsequential.

“Kay and Paul raised four wonderful children. I remember one time Kay said, ‘Bob, I’d rather have four kids than three Pulitzers,’” Bob Staake said on learning of Kay Conrad’s death. Staake is an illustrator and former protege of Paul Conrad.

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Kay Conrad passed away August 2, after a long illness, at age 90

Kay King was a reporter at the Denver Post when she wed Paul Conrad, the paper’s editorial cartoonist. They moved to Palos Verdes in 1963 when her husband became the Los Angeles Times’ editorial cartoonist.

In Palos Verdes, her political activism rivaled that of her husband’s, but on the local level.

In support of efforts to preserve open space on the Peninsula she helped spearhead the incorporation of Rancho Palos Verdes. She then managed the political campaign of RPV’s first mayor Marilyn Ryan, and Ryan’s subsequent State assembly campaign. She served as a director of the Palos Verdes, San Pedro and California State Leagues of Women Voters and also on the board of Little Company of Mary Hospital. The passionate Dodger fan also worked with her husband in helping found the Silver Spur Little League.

A Mass and celebration of her life was held Saturday, August 11 at St. John Fisher.

She is survived by children Jamie (Lisa), David (Angele Colvin), Carol (Warren Kenner) and Libby Cannizzaro (Steve) as well as grandchildren Taylor Conrad and Daniel Colvin. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be made to the Society of Professional Journalists at spj.org. 

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