Ziggy comic creator Tom Wilson Sr. died Sept. 16 at age 80 in a Cincinatti nursing home from pneumonia.

Ziggy, a beloved comic featuring a bald, moon-faced character named of teh same namey, has appeared in newspapers nationwide and celebrated 40 years in syndication in June 2011.

Wilson Sr. passed on the reigns of Ziggy in 1987 to his son, Tom Wilson Jr., who previously worked as an assistant for the comic for years prior.

He was a passionate and charismatic man, it came out in everything he did, Wilson Jr. told the Associated Press. He loved ideas and he loved creating - that was really what drove him. He wasn't a loser in that sense because his passion just came out and inspired everyone around him.

Wilson Jr. will continue to handle daily operations for Ziggy and will continue to produce the comic, according to a press release.

Ziggy first appeared in 1969, when Wilson Sr. published the character in a cartoon collection called When You're Not Around while serving as the creative director of American Greetings. He chose the name Ziggy because it started with a Z, and that seemed appropriate for this character, he told the Sun Press.

The comic was first officially launched in 15 newspapers in 1971 and currently appears in over 500 newspapers across the nation along with many books, calendars and greeting cards.

Tom Wilson Sr. won a Primetime Emmy in 1983 for Outstanding Animated Program for the ABC Christmas special, Ziggy's Gift. He also is responsible for assisting a creative team who produced beloved characters such as Strawberry Shortcake and the Care Bears.