Bil Keane, October 5, 1922 - November 8, 2011 Bil Keane was born on October 5, 1922 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He grew up in Pennsylvania, and taught himself how to draw. Keane began cartooning in high school, and after graduation continued to create comics for Yank magazine while spending three years in the Army during World War II. After the war, Keane got a job at the Philadelphia Bulletin, first as a messenger and then as a staff artist. His first syndicated cartoon was "Channel Chuckles" released in 1954 and distributed for 23 years. He also drew freelance cartoons for various major magazines, a Sunday comic for the Bulletin called "Silly Philly" and edited a weekly supplement in the Sunday edition called "Fun Book." Keane spent fifteen years at the Bulletin before deciding to move to Arizona and work from home. In 1960, "The Family Circus" was born, labeled with the original title of "The Family Circle" till the magazine of the same name objected. "The Family Circus" was created in the image of Keane's own family, based on the likenesses of his children and wife. The strip has been in circulation for almost 43 years. It is the most widely syndicated comic in the world appearing in 1,500 newspapers. There are over 60 collections of these comics, comprised of over 14 million books in print. The strip has inspired three television specials and appears in educational and public service projects. In 1983, Bil Keane was named Cartoonist of the Year by the National Cartoonists Society and won the prestigious Reuben Award. Bil Keane died on November 8, 2011, at his home in Paradise Valley, Arizona (near Phoenix), at 89. The cause of death was given as congestive heart failure.