Tom Wilson Sr., the creator of the hard-luck comic strip character Ziggy, has died, his family said today. He was 80. Tom Wilson Jr., who took over the comic in 1987, said his father died Friday of pneumonia at a Cincinnati hospital. The elder Wilson had moved to a Cincinnati nursing home about eight years ago to be near his family, his son said.
Wilson was an artist at American Greetings card company in Cleveland and first published Ziggy in a 1969 cartoon collection, "When You're Not Around." Ziggy was launched in 15 newspapers in 1971 and now appears in more than 500 daily and Sunday newspapers. "Ziggy is a last-in-line character," the son said in a phone interview. "The last picked for everything and kind of a lovable kind of loser character." (Read more Ziggy stories.)