Frederick Joss FRSA (1908 - 1967)

“Clever, rude, quick and very penetrating.....the black-and-white champion of the underdog”

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Born in Vienna in 1908 artist Fritz Josephovics and his brother stage designer Carl studied at the renowned Arts & Crafts School of the Austrian State Museum. Politically active, Fritz travelled extensively, expelled from Argentina for his youthful socialist views, before a short spell in a Spanish prison, he then at the age of only twenty-five was publishing Vienna’s last anti-fascist daily newspaper Weiner Post and in 1933 he and his wife fled to England.  

By 1934 he was cartoonist and caricaturist for (the now long defunct newspaper) The Star one of London’s three daily papers, whilst also simultaneously translating Hitler’s broadcasts for British intelligence, he became known to all as Joss of the Star (he changed his name to Fred Joss in 1940), during the war he became the popular observer of the forces Denim whilst serving in the ranks. Either side of the war The Star sent him to Geneva, Paris and elsewhere to record the figures at the top flight political meetings of the day.

In 1955 he left The Star (which ceased publication in 1960) and practiced as freelance artist and journalist, he travelled all over the world, spending long spells in India, Africa and the Far East, settling in Hong Kong, where his work was featured in the leading newspapers, he had his own radio show and made regular appearances on television. He died suddenly in 1967 aged 58, falling from one of the highest floors of the Hilton Hotel, in Hong Kong, whilst attempting to expose the drug racketeers, it was surmised in journalistic circles, that he was pushed.

By the time of his death, he had practised journalism in at least half a dozen languages and his drawings had been published all over the world.

Art & Antiques Appraisals offer for sale hundreds of his original caricatures, cartoons and drawings on behalf of the family. To view the full Joss portfolio please see Joss Works for Sale.

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