Tom Wilson, the creator of Ziggy, has died, reports several news sources.
Tom Wilson, the creator of Ziggy, has died, reports several news sources. He passed away from pneumonia at a nursing home in Cincinnati. He was 80 years old.
Distributed by Universal Uclick, Ziggy appears in over 500 newspapers. The optimistic bald character has also appeared in books and tons of merchandise. Wilson won an Emmy for the animated Christmas special, ZIGGY'S GIFT, which aired on ABC.
Wilson was born in Grant Town, WV, but grew up in Uniontown, PA. He earned a degree from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. He spent most of his adult life in Cleveland where he headed up American Greetings' Those Characters division, which created such characters as Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake.
The start of Ziggy was in the book WHEN YOU'RE NOT AROUND. Kathy Andrews, who was just starting Universal Press Syndicate, saw the book and later asked Wilson to add words to the single panel comics. That is when they decided to call the character Ziggy.
Following American Greetings, Wilson launched the licensing company Ziggy and Friends. In 1987, he handed over the comic strip to his son Thomas M. Wilson.
He is survived by his wife Carol Sobble; children, Thomas M., Ava Wilson-Stewart, and Julianne Webb; and five grandchildren.