Fred Marcellino, Art 1960, was a designer, illustrator and author.  After graduating from Cooper Union, he attended Yale and received a Fulbright scholarship to live in Venice. When he returned to New York in 1964, he pursued furniture, product, and interior design before deciding to pursue a career in graphics and illustration in the early 1970s.

For more than ten years, Fred Marcellino was the pre-eminent book jacket designer in America, designing about 40 book jackets per year. Some of his most famous covers include Birdy by William Wharton, Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera, The Drowned and the Saved by Primo Levi, and The Accidental Tourist by Ann Tyler.  From 1979 until 1982, The National Book Awards included the category of jacket design for the first time. Marcellino won the prize, the “Nevelson,” in three of the four years, in one year receiving three out of the five possible nominations.

Later in his career he was both an illustrator and a author of children’s books. In 1990, Fred illustrated Charles Perrault’s famous tale from 1695, Puss in Boots, which received the Cal he illustrated include The Steadfast Tin Soldier, The Wainscott Weasel, The Pelican Chorus, and The Story of Little Babaji

Christopher Lehman-Haupt of the New York Times wrote, “THE PELICAN CHORUS AND OTHER NONSENSE, by Edward Lear. Illustrated by Fred Marcellino is irresistibly illustrated with comically elegant paintings” in his book review published in the New York Times in 1995.

His first children’s book that he authored and illustrated was, I, Crocodile, which was chosen as a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the year, was published posthumously in 2002. He died in 2001.

Fred Marcellino received the CUAA Augustus Saint Gaudens Award in 1978 and was inducted into The Cooper Union Hall of Fame in 2009.


  1. Obituary, Fred Marcellino, 61, Designer Of Elegant Best-Seller Covers, The New York Times July 15, 2001.
  2. CURRENTS; Jackets Are All The Rage, The New York Times, March 17, 1988.
  3. Books of the Times, Lehman-Haupt, Christopher, The New York Tines November 30, 1995.
  4. Illustration History, Fred Marcellino, The Rockwell Museum Educational website. Link