David Levine, 83, an artist whose witty caricatures illustrated the New York Review of Books for more than 40 years, died yesterday at a Manhattan hospital of prostate cancer and complications from other ailments.
His death was confirmed by Robert Silvers, editor of the New York Review, who called Mr. Levine "the greatest caricaturist of his time."
Mr. Levine's drawings of politicians, celebrities, writers, and historical figures typically had large heads and exaggerated features - Albert Einstein with a nimbus of hair, President Lyndon B. Johnson pulling up his shirt to reveal a gallbladder-operation scar shaped like a map of Vietnam (see a New York Review gallery of his work via http://go.philly.com/levine).
The drawings defined the look of the New York Review, which sold them on calendars and T-shirts. From a few months after it began publishing in 1963 until he was diagnosed with the eye disease macular degeneration in 2006, Mr. Levine contributed more than 3,800 drawings to the Review, which has continued to illustrate its articles with old Levine drawings.
His work also appeared in Esquire, the New York Times, and Rolling Stone, among other publications.
His work is in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Library of Congress, among other institutions.