Tom Wilson, who created the comic strip ‘Ziggy,’ has died at the age of 80, due to complications from pneumonia.

For 35 years, Wilson was also the creative director of American Greetings. Ziggy, a bald, featureless man who lived with a menagerie of pets and would fall victim to one misfortune after another, was first introduced to the public in 1969 as part of a collection that was published by American Greetings.

Two years later, ‘Ziggy’ became a syndicated comic strip and has been featured daily in newspapers ever since. Wilson’s son, Tom Wilson Jr., took over the day-to-day operation of the comic strip in 1987.

“We are saddened at the passing of Tom Wilson, a visionary cartoonist and longtime friend,” said John McMeel, chairman and president of Andrews McMeel Universal, which publishes ‘Ziggy.’ “Tom leaves behind a wonderful legacy in ‘Ziggy,’ a hard-luck comics page hero who serves as a reflection of Tom’s endearing wit and optimism in the face of adversity.”

[Washington Post]