Comic artist Irwin Hasen, who helped father one of pop culture's most famous orphans, Dondi, died Friday morning.
He was 96.
Born in Manhattan and raised in Brooklyn, Hasen fell into cartooning as a 19-year-old largely because the National Academy of Design was across the street from his apartment, the artist told the New York Times in 2011.
It was the start of the Golden Age of comics, and Hasen quickly found work first at Harry Chesler's studio (working on the likes of "The Green Hornet") and then National Comics, the precursor to DC Comics. While there, he teamed with writer Bill Finger to create a superhero, Wildcat, that was so important a character that he’s been incorporated into the current television series, "Arrow."
"(Hasen) was DC's last surviving artist from World War II," comic historian Michael Uslan told the News. "So DC’s ‘Golden Age of Comics’ has come to a close, 77 years after it began."
Hasen's greatest creation, however, was Dondi, the wide-eyed kid who straddled the line between laughs and tears.
The strip, co-written with Gus Edson, ran in more than 100 newspapers from 1955 to 1986.