Robert McCall, best known to Star Trek fans for his work on Star Trek: The Motion Picture, passed away Friday, February 26 in Scottsdale, Arizona.
McCall was also well-known for his space paintings that have appeared on U.S. postage stamps, for NASA mission patches and for his 2001: A Space Odyssey posters.
Born in Columbus, Ohio in 1919, McCall won a scholarship to the Columbus Fine Art School following his high school graduation. He served in the Army Air Corps during the Second World War, then worked as an advertising artist before becoming a magazine illustrator. McCall worked as an illustrator for Life, Popular Science and the Saturday Evening Post.
McCall also created art for the Air Force, creating nearly fifty paintings which now hang in the Pentagon and the Air Force Academy. Some of the paintings are part of a traveling exhibition open to the general public.
A six-story high wall at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. is filled with one of McCall’s space murals.
Science fiction writer Isaac Asimov once said that “[McCall is] the nearest thing we have to an artist-in-residence in outer space.”
McCall is survived by his wife Louise, two daughters and four grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in McCall’s honor to the Challenger Space Center of Arizona, 21170 North 83rd Ave, Peoria, AZ 85382, www/AZChallenger.org.