New Yorker cartoonist Leo Cullum dies
Last Updated: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 | 11:12 AM ET
Leo Cullum, whose cartoons kept readers of The New Yorker laughing for 33 years, has died. He was 68.
Cullum died Saturday in Malibu, Calif., of cancer, according to his brother, Thomas.
Readers of The New Yorker will remember his clueless doctors, venal lawyers and scores of animal characters, including the anchovy who tells his son, "Some will love you, son, and some will hate you. It's always been that way with anchovies."
The New Yorker cartoon editor Robert Mankoff told the New York Times that Cullum was one of the magazine's most popular cartoonists.
His work has been gathered in several collections, including Suture Self, Tequila Mockingbird and Cockatiels for Two, the titles a reflection of his quick way with pun.
His deceptively simple drawings featured businessmen in sombreros, elephants in therapy and captions that caught the reader by surprise.
Cullum said he loved working for The New Yorker because it doesn't treat cartoons as an afterthought.
"Many people will begin reading the magazine's cartoons before they get in the habit of reading the magazine from cover to cover," he told MediaBistro. "Other magazines just use them as filler."
Leo Aloysius Cullum was born on Jan. 11, 1942, in Newark and grew up in North Bergen, N.J. He attended the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., and entered the Marine Corps after graduating. He served in Vietnam.
He then became a pilot with domestic airline TWA, where he used to draw during long layovers. He began studying magazine cartoons and sold work to Air Line Pilot Magazine, True, Argosy, Saturday Review and Sports Afield.
Cullum sold his first cartoon to The New Yorker in 1977. He became a regular, selling 819 cartoons to The New Yorker over the next 33 years.
One of his most popular cartoons showed a man addressing the family cat, which is sitting next to the litterbox. "Never, ever, think outside the box," the man says.
He is survived by his wife, Kathy, two daughters, Kimberly Berry and Kaitlin Cullum, and his brother, Thomas.
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