Paul Crifo Biography
Born in New York in 1922, the son of an Italian tailor, Crifo grew up with nine sisters and one brother on the Lower East Side before moving to Flushing and then Bushwick. Right out of high school he got a job in the advertising division of 20th Century Fox where he assisted Saul Bass (who was then an unknown artist himself and only two years his senior), and attended art classes at Pratt at night.
He worked for most of his career in the art department of the ad agency Diener Hauser Greenthal (later Diener Hauser Bates) which, according to Crifo, was 'the agency of record' for most of the major studios. He was one of the great movie poster illustrators and art directors of the '60s and '70s, but he was also an unsung hero. Over the course of 40 years he illustrated and designed as many as 140 movie posters for Hollywood studios, but unlike peers such as Bob Peak or Robert McGinnis, Paul Crifo never became a marquee name.