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Cartoonist Johnny Hart passed away

The award-winning cartoonist, famous for his dinosaurs-and-cavemen-laden comic strip B.C., died at the age of 76.

books Updated: Apr 10, 2007 17:09 IST

Award winning cartoonist Johnny Hart, famous for his"B.C." comic strip, died at the age of 76 years on April 7.

The cartoonist, whose comic strips appeared in more than 1,300 newspapers worldwide, died of a stroke.

"He had a stroke, He died at his storyboard,” the New York Post quoted Hart’s wife Bobby, as saying.

Hart was awarded more than once with the National Cartoonist Society's Reuben Award for Cartoonist of the Year.

For several decades, "B.C.," about prehistoric cavemen and dinosaurs, was published in more than 1,300 newspapers. The comic strip made its debut in 1958 after Hart did some freelance work for The Saturday Evening Post and Collier's Weekly.

Many of his comic strips also included a religious theme, mainly of his Christian beliefs.

Mell Lazarus, the man behind "Momma" and "Miss Peach" comic strips, said his friend Hart was considered one of the best cartoonists around and noted that his work was "totally original."

"He had such an emphasis on kindness, generosity, and patience," said Richard Newcombe, founder and president of Creators Syndicate in Los Angeles.

Newcombe said Hart was the first cartoonist to enrol when the syndicate was created 20 years ago.

"Traditionally, comic strips were owned by syndicates. We were different because we allowed cartoonists to own their own work. It was because of Johnny's commitment to this idea that made us a success,” Newcombe said.

The cartoonist died at his Endicott, New York home where he spent years drawing his comic strips inside his studio. Hart is survived by his wife and two daughters, Patti and Perri.

First Published: Apr 10, 2007 17:01 IST