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Remembering Barnaby Conrad With Love

Writers Conference Founder Passes Away Tuesday Morning

Barnaby Conrad
(July, 2007)

Barnaby Conrad, the San Francisco-born author who founded the Santa Barbara Writers Conference, died on Tuesday morning at his home in Carpinteria. He was 90 years old.

Born in 1922, Conrad became a mid-century renaissance man, enjoying boxing, painting, and a brief career in civil service for the United States government in Spain, which led him to bullfighting. As the only American to ever battle bulls in Spain, Peru, and Mexico, Conrad was well equipped to pen Matador, which John Steinbeck declared the best book of 1952.

In 1973, Conrad founded the Santa Barbara Writers Conference at Cate School, and grew that into a renowned annual event, drawing famous authors from around the country. He ran that conference with his wife, Mary, until they sold it in 2004.

Conrad's death was not unexpected, as he had been in hospice care for three weeks.


Artist-author Barnaby Conrad was born in San Francisco, California, in 1922. He graduated from Taft preparatory school in Connecticut, attended the Univerity of North Carolina, where he was captain of the boxing team, and the University of Mexico, where he studied painting and begun his career as an amateur bullfighter. After being injured in the bullring, he continued his studies at Yale and graduated in 1943.



Tribute to Barnaby Conrad

In honor of his 90th birthday, Barnaby Conrad was honored by friends and Santa Barbara Writers Conference staff. Fred Klein leads the group in singing "Hello Barny", Sid Stebel reads a letter from Ray Bradbury, current SBWC owner Monte Schulz says a few words, and Perie Longo reads a poem dedicated to the Matador author.

Barnaby Conrad's Art

"Genetic Transference: Neuvie modern furniture store on SB Street was the inventive venue for Barnaby Conrad's recent art show.




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