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Tony Auth passes at age 72

Really sad news. From the New York Times:

PHILADELPHIA ? Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Tony Auth, whose sharp and creative commentary appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer for more than 40 years, died of cancer on Sunday. He was 72.

Auth had worked for the past two years as the artist-in-residence at NewsWorks/WHYY, which announced his death.

From his former paper:

Mr. Auth’s remarkable career began in 1971 when the fledgling artist from California flew in to Philadelphia to interview for the position of editorial cartoonist.

Over the next 41 years, Mr. Auth would use his rapier wit in thousands of carefully rendered drawings to kindle discussion on the political and cultural currents of the day. Few could view an Auth cartoon and stay mute.

Toward the end of his career, Tony began doing these voice over animations that I think also capture his kind personality:

From friend and former editorial page editor Chris Satullo:

But even that was not the best way to know him – for as fine a cartoonist as William Anthony Auth was for so many productive decades, he was an even better friend and colleague.

Many newspaper cartoonists do prefer a solitary mode. Not Tony.

Year after year, he was one of the first in his seat for the morning meetings on The Inquirer editorial board. His pride lay not just in his own work, but in the journalistic team of which he was an enthusiastic, indispensable part.

Michael Cavna talks to several cartoonists of all ages who call Tony a friend or inspiration.

I had the pleasure of talking with him when he left the Inquirer two years ago. I was expecting more rough and jaded attitude from a battle hardened journalist. But my lasting impression was how kind, gentle and upbeat about his new job at WHYY.

Tony will be missed.

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