Lee Susman, an award-winning cartoonist whose drawings graced the Oakland Tribune sports pages for more than 35 years, died on Sunday. The Emeryville resident was 94.
Susman's cartoons depicting local college and pro football teams, baseball teams and basketball teams appeared in the Tribune from 1946 until his retirement in 1983.
In addition to his popular newspaper drawings, Susman designed the logos for the Oakland Oaks and Sacramento Solons of the Pacific Coast League as well as the Oakland Oaks of the American Basketball Association.
Susman was inducted into the PCL Hall of Fame in 2008.
"Cartooning was just something I loved to do, and I was lucky enough to make a decent living at it," Susman told former Tribune columnist Dave Newhouse for a 2007 article. "And it's nice to be recognized; an ego trip."
Leland "Lee" Stanford Susman was born in San Francisco on July 27, 1917. He grew up in San Francisco, attending Galileo High School, the California School of Fine Arts and the College of Advertising Fine Arts. His father, Leo Henry Susman, was a San Francisco Law School instructor. Both of Lee Susman's parents died by the time he was 11. He was raised by a stepmother.
Susman was a self-described "sports nut," who began working for an advertising agency in 1937. In 1939, Susman won a competition to draw a comic strip for the San Francisco Call-Bulletin newspaper. After spending five years in the Navy during World War II, the Tribune hired Susman as a sports cartoonist. That year, he created "The Lil' Acorn," the Oaks' mascot.
Susman's cartoons included daily Oakland A's updates featuring mascot "Charlie O," Instant Replay, a twice weekly college football cartoon, and Sportlight, a daily cartoon of the national sports scene.
A longtime El Cerrito resident before moving to Emeryville, Susman was preceded in death by his wife of 15 years, Cathryne Violet Susman, who passed away at the age of 91 on Oct. 23.
Funeral arrangements and services for Susman were not yet announced. Check back for updates.