San Diego Union Tribune reports that Sheldon Dorf, founder of San Diego's Comic-Con International, died today at the age of 76 after suffering from complications of diabetes. The Union Tribune obituary tells the fascinating story of a freelance artist whose life was changed by a trip to San Diego, where he went on to found the largest fandom convention in the country. From the paper:

“A prominent collector of 'Dick Tracy' comics and memorabilia, Mr. Dorf had run Detroit's 'Triple Fan Fest,' a convention dedicated to comics, sci-fi science fiction and movies. When he met Ken Krueger, owner of Alert Books in Ocean Beach, they and a band of teenaged enthusiasts began planning something similar for San Diego.

“This unpaid, ragtag group organized the first Golden State Comic Con, at the U.S. Grant Hotel, Aug. 1-3, 1970.”

The newspaper also notes that Dorf left his work with the convention “in the mid-'80s.”

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