On this day, March 3, 2012, conceptual designer and illustrator Ralph McQuarrie died in Berkeley, California. After serving in Korea, he studied art at the Art Center School in Los Angeles. He worked as a technical illustrator for Boeing and designed film posters and some animation for CBS New’s coverage of the Apollo space program. In the 1970s McQuarrie worked for George Lucas on Star Wars, designing some of the characters and concepts for film’s sets. He worked on Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E. T., and Cocoon.

Ralph McQuarrie