Mort Walker Passes Away at 94

Mort Walker
Credit: King Features

Beetle Bailey creator Addison Morton "Mort" Walker passed away January 27, 2018 at the age of 94, peacefully in his home.

A World War II veteran, Walker returned to civilian life in 1947 and resume his pursuit of cartooning - following his mother, Carolyn Walker, who was a newspaper staff illustrator. Over the course of his life, Walker created nine different syndicated comic strips but is best-known for Beetle Bailey, which launched in 1950 and has become the third-most widely syndicated comic strip in the world.

Credit: King Features

“Mort was an incredibly personable, compassionate man, a towering artistic talent the likes of which will not soon pass this way again,” said TR “Rocky” Shepard, current advisor to King Features and its former president, who worked with Walker over the last 20 years. “He founded the International Museum of Cartoon Art with the help of his wife Catherine and has served for decades as a tireless advocate for cartoonists, the profession of cartooning and the important place in history and in our culture that the comics have played.”

In 1974, Walker and his wife founded the International Museum of Cartoon Art, which was open until financial straits forced its closure in 2002. Walker's collection from the museum was later merged with that of Ohio State University's, creating the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum

In 2000, the United States Army honored Walker with the Dectoration for Distinguished Civil Service, the highest honor the Secretary of the Army can give a civilian.

Walker is survied by his wife, eight children, 15 grandchildren, and 1 great granddaughter. The family has requested donations to The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum at The Ohio State University.

Walker's long-running Beetle Bailey newspaper comic strip will continue with sons Brian and Greg Walker.

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