Brad Anderson, creator of the "Marmaduke" cartoon strip that for more than 60 years featured the antics of a lovable great Dane and inspired a 2010 movie, has died. He was 91.
Anderson died Aug. 30 at a hospital in The Woodlands, Texas, according to a statement from Universal Uclick, which syndicated the long-running comic strip. A cause of death was not available.
At its height, the comic strip was carried by more than 600 newspapers. The Times was one of the first newspapers to pick up the strip.
While the cartoon was published by newspapers across Europe and Scandinavia, only in Germany – where Marmaduke was suddenly transformed into Archibald -- was the dog’s name altered.
“Don’t ask me why because I don’t know. I guess the Germans want a German name for my dog,” Anderson said in a 1991 interview with The Times.
Anderson was born in Jamestown, N.Y., on May 14, 1924, and as a boy expressed an affinity for drawing.
"Brad's interest in cartooning dates back to his early childhood, when he drew popular cartoon characters to amuse himself," according to his biography on the Universal Uclick website.
He served in the Navy during World War II before graduating from Syracuse University and doing freelance work for magazines, including the Saturday Evening Post and Collier’s, before creating "Marmaduke" in 1954.
Anderson's son, Paul, assisted him in later years on the popular comic strip, and a 2010 "Marmaduke" film featured the voice of actor Owen Wilson as the gregarious pooch.
Though “Marmaduke” started off slowly – appearing in only eight newspapers initially – it became one of the most popular comic strips in the country and was featured in more than two dozen “Marmaduke” published collections. Anderson was honored in 2013 with a lifetime achievement award from the National Cartoonists Society.
Anderson is survived by his wife Barbara, four children, six grandchildren, three step-grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.