Sad news to report today. Sheldon “Shel” Dorf, the man who co-founded the now world famous San Diego Comic-Con International, died Tuesday from complications related to diabetes. He was 76.
Dorf moved to San Diego from his native Detroit in 1970, the same year he founded Comic-Con. He spent the next 15 years as a leader of the annual convention, which promotes comics and pop culture such as movies and TV shows.
“The guy just lived and breathed comics his whole life,” Mark Evanier, a TV and comic book writer, told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “The Con was built on his passion and his cheerleading.”
The first Comic-Con was called the Golden State Comic-Con and was held at the U.S. Grant Hotel. Today, the event draws 125,000 attendees annually to the San Diego Convention Center. In a 2006 interview, Dorf told the San Diego Union-Tribune he had no idea Comic-Con would ever grow into what it is today, the largest convention held in San Diego and one of the largest pop culture events in the world.
Dorf is survived by his brother. Funeral services are scheduled for 1 p.m. at the Home of Peace cemetery, 3668 Imperial Ave. San Diego, CA.