November 10th, 2011
12:31 PM ET
CNN has confirmed that Bil Keane, artist and creator of beloved long-running comic "The Family Circus," died Tuesday at his family's home in Paradise Valley, Arizona at the age of 89.
His son Jeff tells CNN that the cause of death was congestive heart failure, which Jeff says his father suffered from "for quite a while."
In a post on his website that demonstrates the Philadelphia native's particular brand of humor, Keane recounts that he taught himself to draw and began cartooning in high school.
He met his wife, who passed away three years ago, while stationed in Australia during World War II. The couple wed in Brisbane, and then "in Roslyn, Pa., we started our real-life family circus. They provided the inspiration for my cartoons; I provided the perspiration."
In 1959 Keane and his family relocated to the Paradise Valley home in which he died, and that's also the location where he created the "Family Circus." He has illustrated the humorous realities of familial life since 1960, and the comic strip today appears in over 1,500 newspapers.
Jeff, Keane's youngest son, tells CNN that he's worked with his father on the “The Family Circus" since 1981 and will continue the cartoon.
Keane leaves behind Jeff and his four other children, Gayle, Neal, Glen and Christopher; nine grandchildren and one great granddaughter, "who brought great joy to his life," Jeff said.
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