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updated: 1/28/2014 6:59 PM

Morris Turner, Wee Pals comic strip creator, dies

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Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Morris "Morrie" Turner, the creator of the "Wee Pals" comic strip and the first African American cartoonist to be syndicated nationally, has died. He was 90.

Family spokesman David Bellard says the Oakland, Calif.-born Turner died peacefully at a hospital in Sacramento, Calif., on Saturday.

Turner developed the humorous, ethnically diverse comic strip about a group of buddies, "Wee Pals," in 1965 at the urging of his mentor, Charles Schulz. Schulz created the widely popular Peanuts comic strip.

Turner's strip was also known for its "Soul Corner" that often recognized historical black figures.

In 2003, Turner was recognized by the National Cartoonist Society for his work.

Bellard said Turner was surrounded by family members when he passed away. Services are pending.

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