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Shoe Comic Strip Creator Passes

On Thursday, June 8, 2000, the three-time Pulitzer Prize winning creator of the comic strip SHOE, Jeff MacNelly passed away. He died at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, succumbing to lymphoma, which he has been fighting since late last year. In 1972 at the age of 24, MacNelly won the Pulitzer for one of his political cartoons for the RICHMOND NEW LEADER. He had been working there for only 16 months. Before leaving the NEW LEADER in 1982, he received his second Pulitzer Prize in 1978. Moving to the CHICAGO TRIBUNE, the cartoonist drew his political satires from his home in Rappahannock County, Virginia. At the TRIBUNE, the cartoonist won his final Pulitzer in 1985. In 1977, MacNelly created his best-known work, SHOE. The cartoon strip featured the cigar-smoking editor of the Treetop Tattler and his staff of bird-brained feather-backed hacks. The newspapers bitter boss, P. Martin Shoemaker, was inspired by MacNellys former boss, Jim Shumaker, who is currently a professor at the University of North Carolina. In addition, the cartoonist also illustrated humorist Dave Berrys syndicated column. Originally from New York, he landed his first cartoon drawing job with a weekly paper in Chapel Hill, North Carolina shortly after dropping out of the University of North Carolina. He cut his output of cartoons in January to concentrate on fighting his illness; however, he produced SHOE and other political cartoons up until his death. He is survived by his wife, Susan, and sons Danny, 25, and Matt, 13. He was 52 years old.

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Rick DeMott
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