Clarence Justus Doore was born December 18, 1913 in Montreal, Canada. His parents were Mary B. Doore and Clarence F. Doore. They were a Catholic family with eight children, of which the artist was the second born. The father was a general practice civil engineer. Both parents were natural born U.S. Citizens from Maine, but the father worked in Canada from 1911 to 1918.
From 1920 to 1924 the family lived in a single family home at 19 Sears Avenue, Melrose, Massachusetts, which is a city located within the Greater Boston metropolitan area.
In 1931, as the father's work grew more prosperous, they moved to 345 Chestnut Street in Lynnfield Center, MA, which is a suburb north of Boston with a trolley commuter line connection.
In 1932 Clarence J. Doore finished his fourth year of high school and spent his next year on a "Grand Tour" of Europe, where he was most impressed by the Louvre Art Museum in Paris.
His older brother followed his father's career and studied engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, but Clarence preferred to pursue an art career in freelance illustration, so he took art classes at the Massachusetts Normal Art School in Boston, where he met Frances Porter Crawshaw. She was born February 24, 1920 in Massachusetts. They married in 1938.
His first assignments were illustrations for local printers and advertisers. The first nationwide magazine to publish his work was The Open Road For Boys in 1937, for which he created interior story illustrations. That same magazine also published his first cover painting in 1942.
His developing career was interrupted by WWII. In November of 1943 he reported for enlistment and was recorded to be five-foot-eight and 189 pounds. He served as a private in the U.S. Army and was stationed at the Climatic Research Laboratory at Lawrence, Massachusetts, where the army tested human physical reactions to extreme weather conditions that were artificially created. His wife Frances moved to 29 Hall Street in Lawrence, MA, to be close to her husband during his leave. In February of 1946 he was honorably discharged with the rank of Sergeant T/4 (Technician Fourth Grade).
According to the artist's daughter, Ruth Doore Parent, "When Dad was at Climatic Research the Army tried several times to convince the Pentagon to adopt use of something called the "Eisenhower Jacket" for alpine troops. They were lined with some of the first examples of artificial fur. Dad suggested to his superiors that they needed illustrations to aid in making their case. He proceeded to do sketches of soldiers in action in mountain snow and ice. It was successful. During high school my mother used some of the "fur" to line a white wool vest she sewed for me and embroidered with flowers - 'fur side inside to keep the cold side outside'."
After the war he and Frances moved to 198 Mansfield Avenue, Darien, Connecticut, to be closer to the New York publishing industry. He sold freelance pulp covers to Amazing Stories, Fifteen Sport Stories, Fifteen Western Tales, Five Western Novels, 44. Western, Star Western, 10-Story Western, Thrilling Sports, Thrilling Western, Triple Detective, and Triple Western.
In 1952 he was hired by Ziff-Davis publications to replace Norman Saunders, who had initially been their top artist, but was fired when he refused to alter his style to suit the tastes of William Ziff. Clarence Doore painted twenty-four comic book covers for G. I. Joe, as well as covers for Cinderella Love, Flyboy, Football Thrills, The Hawk, Kid Cowboy, Romantic Marriage, Space Patrol, Tales of the Sea, Tops In Adventure, and Wild Boy.
In the 1950s he worked for men's adventure magazines, such as All Man, Animal Life, Battle Cry, Champion For Men, Fury, Male, Man's Adventure, Man's Exploits, Rage For Men, Real Men, Rugged Men, Spur, and True Weird.
He also painted covers for digest magazines like Fantastic Universe, Suspect Detective Stories, and Sea Stories. He painted covers for paperback publishers, such as Avon and Pyramid.
In the late 1950s he illustrated adventure books for McGraw-Hill and Random House, such as K-2 The Savage Mountain and Exploring The Himalayas.
In the 1960s he worked as a correspondence art instructor at The Famous Artists School in Westport Connecticut.
In 1966 he retired from commercial illustration and moved to Freeport, Maine, to be near his elderly father.
Clarence Doore died at the age of seventy-four from complications of diabetes at the Cheshire Medical Center in Keene, New Hampshire, on August 12, 1988.
© David Saunders 2009