George Gross, born in 1909, was one of the best pulp magazine cover artists during and after the World War Two. In a time where most publications and pulp cover artists exploited female sexuality to sell, George proved the contrary. Bill Cox, an established pulp writer, applauded George for making mind-blowing paintings without scantily dressed ladies and more so for convincing his publishers Fiction House to let him.
Immediately after high school, George set out to become an artist by joining Pratt Institute. His father David Gross, a fashion artist, had gone through the same institute. Before George graduated, he was already working on his pre-war pulp covers. He worked with his siblings Arthur and Beatrice Gross in their father’s art studio Fashion Paper in Manhattan. His early experience in the studio introduced him to illustrations for commercial purposes. He accomplished his first pulp covers for Mystery Novels Magazine and Double Action Western which were both products of Winford Publications.
In 1936 George’s father opened a new studio the Nangro Ferrod in another part of Manhattan. George continued working with his brother Andrew who was an established pen and ink pulp story illustrator. Still, as a budding pulp artist George Gross managed to sell his freelance illustrations to Paperback Books giving him an opportunity to work with publishers such as Bantam, Berkley Books, Cameo Books, Dell, Star Books, Lion Books, and Ace Publications.
As George’s talent grew, so did his career. He soon found a place in the established Fiction House and went on to become their top illustrator. As a freelance pulp cover artist, he did covers for North West Romances, Detective Book Magazine, Football Stories, Jungle Stories, Complete Northwest, Action Stories, Air Stories and Fight Stories.
In 1940 George married his first wife Dora Gross and moved to Queens as a recognized pulp cover artist. In 1942 at thirty three years he tried to join the world war two but was rejected from military service due to permanent vision impairment in his right eye. The condition affected his depth of perception, forcing him to wear corrective glasses.
After the rejection, he continued with his career as a pulp cover artist and got the opportunity to share a studio with another illustrator Mort Kunstler, in a Tribeca warehouse Lower Manhattan in 1950. He went on to work for men’s adventure magazines the notable ones being Male, Cavalcade, Action For Men, Man’s Illustrated, Man’s World, Real, Saga, See, Stag, Argosy, Bluebook, Man’s Conquest, and True Adventures.
To top his lifetime career as a pulp magazine cover artist, George painted covers for the famous Avenger and the Nick Carter series published by Warner and Ace publications respectively. George Gross later died at 94 years in 2003.