I’ve learned that Sacramento Bee editorial cartoonist Rex Babin passed away this morning after battling with cancer. His paper announced last March that he was taking a medical leave for two weeks, but the leave extended much longer. He still contributed cartoons up to the end. His last cartoon ran on March 4th.
Rex was with the Sacramento Bee since 1999 and prior to that the Albany New York Times Union. He was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2003 and the National Press Foundation – Berryman Award winner in 2001. He was president of the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists from 2009-2010 and his work was syndicated through King Features.
He leaves behind his wife Kathleen and their son Sebastian.
Below is February 2011 video of him talking about his cartoons and influences. He would have known at this point of his diagnosis.
Sacramento Bee Publisher and President Cheryl Dell said, “Rex shared a piece of himself with every cartoon he drew – that is why we all feel like we know him so well. His wit, wisdom, sense of optimism and friendship will be sorely missed both by readers and his Bee family.”
Bee Editorial Page Editor Stuart Leavenworth said, “Rex was an extraordinary colleague and friend, and he had few peers in crafting cartoons that provoked laughter, anger, empathy and a strong sense of community. Right up until his last weeks, he was using his unique talents to help us make sense of California, his home state. His perseverance inspired all of us who had the chance to work with him.”