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Family Circus Creator Bil Keane Dies

Bil Keane, the creator of the one-panel comic FAMILY CIRCUS, passed away from congestive heart failure on Nov. 8, 2011 at his home Paradise Valley, Arizona (via The Huffington Post).

Bil Keane, the creator of the one-panel comic FAMILY CIRCUS, passed away from congestive heart failure on Nov. 8, 2011 at his home Paradise Valley, Arizona (via The Huffington Post). He was 89 years old.

Keane created the family values comic, which runs in 1,500 newspapers across the U.S. in 1958. Since his retirement a few years ago, his son Jeff took over the comic.

The cartoonist was born in 1922 in Philadelphia. He started his newspaper career at the Philadelphia Bulletin as a messenger. Three years later he joined the Army where he drew for "Yank" and "Pacific Stars and Stripes." While stationed in Australia, he met his wife Thelma.

His first one-panel comic CHANNEL CHUCKLES, which spoofed the new medium of TV, started in 1953.

Thelma Keane, who was Keane's inspiration for the Mommy character and his manager, passed away from Alzheimer's in 2008.

Keane is survived by his five children, nine grandchildren and great-granddaughter.

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