He was known as “something of a rascal around the neighborhood” as childhood friends recalled.
Charles Samuel “Chas” Addams (January 7, 1912 – September 29, 1988) was an American cartoonist known for his darkly humorous and macabre characters. Some of the recurring characters, who became known as the Addams Family, have been the basis for spin-offs in several other media. His father encouraged him to draw, and Addams did cartoons for the Westfield High School student literary magazine, Weathervane. A house on Elm Street, and another on Dudley Avenue that police once caught him breaking into, are said to be the inspiration for the Addams Family mansion in his cartoons.
Addams died on September 29, 1988, at St. Clare’s Hospital and Health Center in New York City, having suffered a heart attack while still in his car after parking it. As he had requested, a wake was held rather than a funeral; he had wished to be remembered as a “good cartoonist”. Addams drew more than 1,300 cartoons over the course of his life. In 1961, Addams received, from the Mystery Writers of America, a Special Edgar Award for his body of work. Filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock was a friend of Addams, and owned two pieces of original Addams art.
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