Marmaduke Creator Brad Anderson Passes Away at 91
(Sept. 8, 2015) Kansas City, Mo. – Brad Anderson, creator of comics page icon Marmaduke, died August 30, 2015, at CHI St. Luke’s Health – The Woodlands Hospital in The Woodlands, Texas. He was 91 years old.
Anderson created Marmaduke in 1954. Later joined by his son, Paul Anderson, the duo delighted comics readers with the daily antics and adventures of Marmaduke, the stubborn but lovable Great Dane with a heart the size of Texas. Universal Uclick, an Andrews McMeel Universal company, distributes the enduring comic panel to nearly 400 outlets around the world.
“We were incredibly saddened to hear of Brad Anderson’s passing,” Universal Uclick President John Glynn said. “Brad was an incredible cartoonist, a consummate gentleman and a great father and husband. On a daily basis, Brad reached millions of readers with his legendary characters and humor. And in the process, Brad made readers’ lives a little better each time they read his work. Our deepest sympathies go out to Brad’s wonderful wife, Barbara, and the rest of the Anderson family.”
A testament to the comic’s success, the National Cartoonists Society honored Anderson with the Best Comic Panel Award in 1978 and The Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013, one of the highest honors the National Cartoonists Society can bestow. In 1999, Syracuse University recognized Anderson with the George Arents Award for outstanding contributions in his field. Anderson’s work has been featured in numerous museums and galleries, and more than two dozen books featuring Marmaduke cartoons have been published.
Born May 14, 1924, in Jamestown, N.Y., Anderson began cartooning at a young age. His passion for the art form followed him through high school and during his time serving in the Navy in World War II. Anderson served his country in the Pacific Theater as a Motor Machinist’s Mate First Class in charge of the engine room of the USS LCI(I)-744, a Landing Craft Infantry ship, during some of the biggest naval campaigns of the war. He also contributed cartoons to various USN publications.
After his discharge, Anderson attended Syracuse University on the GI bill and was an art director and cartoonist for the SU magazine, The Syracusan. He also worked for and later headed the university’s graphic arts department. Anderson graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a major in advertising in 1951. He then joined an advertising agency, but his love for cartooning led him to the decision to make cartooning a full-time career, freelancing for The Saturday Evening Post, Collier’s and other magazines. Anderson drew the syndicated strip Grandpa’s Boy in the 1950s and 1960s.
Anderson had a deep love of cartooning and will be remembered by legions of cartoonists for his advice and support, as well as for his loose, expressive draftsmanship and his serene professionalism. But most of all, he will be remembered for his canine creation, whose outsized appetite for food, walks and life in general delighted and inspired newspaper readers of all ages for generations.
Anderson is survived by Barbara, his wife of nearly 70 years, and their four children, as well as six grandchildren, three step-grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
A service will be held at a later date in Portland, New York, to celebrate his life. The family requests that memorial contributions be made in his name to Shriners Hospital for Children – Galveston, 815 Market Street, Galveston, Texas 77550.
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Julie Halper, Universal Uclick