By Dan Wing
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Longtime editorial cartoonist with the Philadelphia Inquirer and Pulitzer Prize-winner Tony Auth has died. Auth passed away at the age of 72 after a two-year battle with brain cancer.
Tony Auth began his career at the Inquirer in 1971, and the paper’s editor Bill Marrimow says he was a guy that coworkers could always turn to for help.
“He was an incredibly generous, kind, and thoughtful colleague. He was in early every day reading newspapers in the Inquirer cafeteria,” says Marrimow. “When an aspiring cartoonist or journalist came his way, he was always generous to a fault.”
But Marrimow says it was his works that made Auth beloved by many, and earned him a Pulitzer in 1976.
“In one image he could accomplish as much as someone could with a story that spanned the whole page of a newspaper.” says Marrimow. “His cartoons spoke truth to power about international affairs, national affairs, and everything that was happening in Philadelphia from Politics and Government, to sports and race-relations and law enforcement. He had a wonderful range of great whimsy to dead seriousness.”
Marrimow says one of his personal favorites came during the Watergate scandal.
“Tony had a brilliant cartoon with spools of tape winding around the West Wing and the East Wing of the White House from above.”
After leaving the Inquirer in 2012, Auth went on to become the artist-in-residence at Newsworks/WHYY where Marrimow says he continued his brilliant work.
Many of those works can be seen on the 18th floor of the Philadelphia Foundation on Market Street as part of an ongoing retrospective show.
Stan Wischnowski, Vice President of News Operations for Interstate General Media, released this written statement on Auth’s passing;
“Tony’s four decades of distinguished work at the Inquirer spanned eight U.S. presidents and seven Philadelphia mayors. During that time, he never ever shied away from tackling the major issues of the day. Few journalists in this city have performed their craft with such a combination of compassion and artistic brilliance. The entire Interstate General Media family is deeply saddened by this loss and our thoughts are with the Auth family.”
Tony Auth is survived by his wife, and two adult children.
Marrimow says that, in addition to Monday’s coverage, the Inquirer will likely run several pages of in-depth discussion on Tony Auth’s works in Sunday’s ‘Currents’ Section.
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