Bil Keane, the creator of popular comic strip "The Family Circus", has passed away. The 89-year-old cartoonist died on Tuesday, November 8 at his home in Paradise Valley, Arizona. His son Jeff told the Associated Press that he died from congestive heart failure.
Jeff, who lives in Laguna Hills, California, noted that Bil has one of his other sons by his side after his conditioned worsened during the last month. He additionally said that the cartoonist was visited by all of his five children, nine grandchildren and great-grandchildren in the last week.
Of his last conversation with Bil, Keane said, " 'I love you' and that's what I said to him, which is a great way to go out." He added, "The great thing is Dad loved the family so much, so the fact that we all saw him, I think that gave him great comfort and made his passing easy. Luckily he didn't suffer through a lot of things."
Bil first created "Family Circus" in 1960. He modeled the one-panel cartoon's characters, Daddy, Mommy and their children Billy, Dolly, Jeffy and P.J., on himself, his wife and children. His comic strip is featured in nearly 1,500 newspapers across the United States.
"We are, in the comics, the last frontier of good, wholesome family humor and entertainment," Bil once said. "On radio and television, magazines and the movies, you can't tell what you're going to get. When you look at the comic page, you can usually depend on something acceptable by the entire family."