Founder of San Diego Comic-Con dies at 76

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Sheldon Dorf, who founded the world famous Comic-Con International comic book convention, has died. He was 76.

A longtime friend, Greg Koudoulian, says the Ocean Beach resident died at a San Diego hospital on Tuesday from kidney failure. He had diabetes and had been hospitalized for about a year.

Dorf, a freelance artist and comic strip letterer, founded Comic-Con in San Diego in 1970 after moving from Detroit.

Today, the convention draws 125,000 fans a year and is a major gathering for comic book fans, artists, writers and movie stars.

Koudoulian says Dorf was friends with comic greats such as Marvel artist Jack Kirby and "Peanuts" creator Charles Schulz. He says Dorf was also instrumental in helping budding artists find audiences.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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