07/23/2015 04:03 EDT | Updated 07/23/2015 04:59 EDT

'Archie' Cartoonist Tom Moore Dies At 86

FILE- In this Monday, May 7, 2007, file photo, a girl reads an Archie comic at Oxford Book Shop in Calcutta, India. The two CEOs of the company that publishes Archie comics on Wednesday, June 6, 2012, ended their court feud over control of the comics kingdom, but now some relatives are accusing both sides of funny business. (AP Photo/Bikas Das, File)

It’s a sad day for "Archie" fans young and old. Tom Moore, the cartoonist behind the red-haired, freckle-faced teen, died on Monday from lung cancer. He passed away at age 86 in his hometown of El Paso, Texas.

Moore drew Archie Andrews and his gang on and off from 1953 until 1988 when he retired. According to the El Paso Times, the annual sales of the comic exceeded half a million during the 1960s.

“He's a legend, in El Paso and, really, around the United States,” All Star Comics & Games owner Brad Wilson told the newspaper. “A lot of people don't realize how much he influenced comic book art.”

On Tuesday night, Archie Comics Facebook page paid tribute to Moore by posting one of the strips he had drawn.

Archie Comics is saddened to hear of the passing of artist Tom Moore. Our thoughts are with his family and fans.

Posted by ARCHIE COMICS on Tuesday, July 21, 2015

In 1996, the El Paso Museum of Art announced that it would display some of Moore’s “Archie” work. In response, the cartoonist reflected on his career saying: “I have enjoyed what I’ve done and I am pleased that others liked it, too. Who knew Archie could have such universal appeal?”


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