Friday, July 11, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Morris Turner | 'Wee Pals' creator, 90

Morris "Morrie" Turner, 90, the California-born cartoonist who broke racial barriers in the 1960s when he became the first African American to have a syndicated comic strip - the gently humored, ethnically diverse Wee Pals - has died.

Mr. Turner - a self-taught artist, son of a Pullman porter, and protégé of Peanuts creator Charles Schulz - died Jan. 25 at a Sacramento hospital, said David Bellard, a family friend.

When Mr. Turner created Wee Pals in 1965, characters of color rarely appeared in mainstream comic strips.

The youngest of four children, Mr. Turner began drawing cartoons in the fifth grade, according to his biography at Creators.com. He served in World War II, where he was a mechanic for the Tuskegee Airmen and drew comic strips for military newspapers.

- Contra Costa Times

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