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Tom Wilson
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    (August 1, 1931-September 16, 2011)
    Born in Grant Town, West Virginia
    Creative Director for American Greetings
    Created the character Ziggy (1969)
    Syndicated 'Ziggy' as a comic strip (1971)
    Strip continued by his son, Tom Wilson, Jr. (1987)
    His ideas for comic strips were rejected until one of the founders of the Universal Press Syndicate noticed a drawing of Ziggy in a book published by American Greetings.
    He also played a major role in creating Strawberry Shortcake and the Care Bears for a triple attack of overwhelming cuteness.
    An AP headline for the comic's anniversary was the decidedly backhanded 'Unflinchingly unhip but unbelievably popular, Ziggy turns 35.'
    He said, 'Is Ziggy me? I'm afraid so.'
    They may be cloying, but between Ziggy, Strawberry Shortcake and the Care Bears, he created three pop culture blockbusters, which we're guessing is three more than you.
    By the time he handed 'Ziggy' over to his son, the cartoon had gone from appearing in 15 newspapers to over 500.
    He won an Emmy for Outstanding Animated Program for 'Ziggy's Gift.' (1983)
    Fictional fans of 'Ziggy' include Seinfeld's J. Peterman ('That irreverence , that wit I'd recognize it anywhere') and Mr. Burns from The Simpsons ('Ah Ziggy, will you ever win?').

Credit: C. Fishel

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