Ziggy creator Tom Wilson Sr. dies at age 80

September 19, 2011 - 3:40 PM

CLEVELAND (AP) — The creator of hard-luck comic strip character Ziggy has died. Tom Wilson Sr. was 80.

Spokesman Josh Peres with Universal Uclick, the Kansas City, Mo., syndication company formerly known as Universal Press Syndicate, says Wilson died Friday after a long illness.

Wilson's son, Tom Wilson Jr., who has produced the panel since 1987, says his father died of pneumonia at a Cincinnati hospital.

Universal Uclick says Wilson was an artist at American Greetings card company in Cleveland for more than 35 years and first published Ziggy in a 1969 cartoon collection.

Ziggy was launched in 15 newspapers in 1971 and now appears in more than 500 daily and Sunday newspapers. It also has appeared in books, calendars and greeting cards.

Funeral services will be private.