Shel Dorf, a major figure in founding and organizing the annual San Diego Comic-Con, died Nov. 3 at the age of 76.
A lifelong fan of comic strips, comic books and their creators, Dorf befriended many comics professionals and organized ‘fan fairs’ in Michigan in the 1960s before he started what would become Comic-Con after moving to San Diego.
Dorf, who studied art and for years lettered the Steve Canyon comic strip for creator Milton Caniff, was the chairman or president of Comic-Con for years.
Comics historian Mark Evanier writes on his blog that the rapid growth of the con put a strain on his ability to manage it, forcing him to stop participating and attending sometime around 2001.
Suffering complications from diabetes, Dorf spent the last year of his life in the hospital. He is survived by his brother, Michael. Services were held Nov. 4 in San Diego.
A tribute site to Dorf has been established at www.sheldorftribute.com.