Paul Coker Jr., a cartoonist and designer whose career spanned over five decades, died on July 23 at his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, at the age of 93.
Paul Coker's stepdaughter Lee Smithson Burd has been confirmed by Deadline, stating that "Paul was lucid and had a remarkable sense of humor till the end." Many other artists, animators, and admirers took to Twitter to express their displeasure at the news and pay tribute to Coker's prolific animation career. Andrew Fargao, an animation historian and author, said that it was "amazing to see his illustrations in MAD over the years."
Coker was a production designer for several Rankin/Bass animated series in the 1960s and 1970s, including Frosty the Snowman and Santa Claus is Comin' to Town, a special where he designed Kris Kringle, Winter Warlock, and Burgermeister Meisterburger.
Cricket on the Hearth, The Year Without a Santa Claus, Frostys Winter Wonderland, Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey, Jack Frost, Pinocchios Christmas, and The Leprechauns Christmas Gold were all credits that Rankin/Bass was known for during that time.
Theodore Roosevelt has recently retired from the military.
Coker was a regular contributor to the MAD satirist magazine, earning him a spot in the "Usual Gang of Idiots," a nickname for MAD employees, and his stepchildren, Lee Smithson Burd and Carol Burd.