Paul McCobb (1917-1969), designer of classic post-war furniture, was born in Boston, where he was trained as a fine artist. He began his career as a designer of retail interiors and displays, but soon developed an interest in furniture design. McCobb moved to New York, and, despite a lack of formal design training, succeeded in establishing his own industrial design company, Paul McCobb Design Associates, by 1945.
In partnership with the distributor B.G. Mersburg, McCobb introduced the Planner Group (1950), a line of simple, practical, moderately-priced, modular home furnishings. The line was an immediate success, and was lauded for producing good, affordable modern design. Other lines soon followed and included wallpapers, fabrics, lighting, glassware and ceramics, and even typewriters.
McCobb was the recipient of MoMA's Good Design Award five times between 1950 and 1955 as well as of the Philadelphia Museum of Arts' Contribution to Better Design Award in 1959. He acted as design consultant to many leading corporations, including Singer, Alcoa, Goodyear, Columbia Records, and Remington Rand.