EXPIRED: 11/08/11 – Bil Keane, 89, was a cartoonist who’s first regular comic strip was called Silly Philly which only ran in the Philadelphia Bulletin from 1946 to 1959. A syndicated strip, Channel Chuckles, premiered in 1954 and ran until 1977. But it was in 1960, when he moved from Pennsylvania to Arizona that he created the long-running newspaper comic The Family Circus. That makes it 51 years old and it’s still in syndication.
Believe it or not, Keane started by mimicking cartoons in The New Yorker, a magazine that would never touch The Family Circus.
Although he started out as “Bill Keane”, he dropped the second L from his name “to be distinctive.” What he should have done was to use his more distinctive middle name, Aloysius.
His son Jeff is expected to take over daily production of strip.