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‘Family Circus’ comic artist dies at 89

In this June 21, 2006 file photo, cartoonist Bil Keane, creator of the comic strip
In this June 21, 2006 file photo, cartoonist Bil Keane, creator of the comic strip "Family Circus," poses in his home in Paradise Valley, Ariz. A spokeswoman for King Features Syndicate, the comic strip's distributor, says Keane died Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011. He was 89. (Paul O'Neill / AP/East Valley Tribune)

PHOENIX — Bil Keane, creator of the comic strip “Family Circus,” has died at age 89.

A spokeswoman for King Features Syndicate, the comic strip’s distributor, says Keane died Tuesday. She would not say where Keane died. He has a home in Paradise Valley, near Phoenix.

Keane began drawing the one panel cartoon featuring Billy, Jeffy, Dolly, P.J. and their parents in February 1960 and it is now featured in nearly 1,500 newspapers.

Keane said in a 1995 interview with The Associated Press that the cartoon endured because of its consistency and simplicity.

Although Keane kept the strip current with references to pop culture movies and songs, the context of his comic was timeless. The ghost-like “Ida Know” and “Not Me” who got blamed for household accidents were staples of the strip.



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