'Wee Pals' comic strip artist Morrie Turner dies at 90

Feb. 1, 2014 at 12:28 PM

SACRAMENTO, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- Morrie Turner, the creator of the "Wee Pals" comic strip has died in a Sacramento hospital, his family said. He was 90.

The cause of the artist's death Jan. 25 wasn't reported.

At its height, Turner's "Wee Pals" comic -- the first with a fully integrated, multiethnic cast -- was syndicated in more than 100 newspapers.

"I'd been critical of the major metropolitan newspapers for not having anything but whites reflected in their cartoon strips," he once told an interviewer. "So I decided to make myself right before I popped off anymore."

In his later years, Turner suffered from kidney problems, said Jeannette Eagan, the daughter of his longtime companion, Karol Trachtenberg. He kept drawing right up until he died, with several months worth of the comic ready for posthumous publication.

Turner is survived by Trachtenberg, his son, four grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

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