Controversial News Corp cartoonist Bill Leak has died after a suspected heart attack. Leak was 61 years of age.
Leak died this morning in Gosford Hospital on the NSW Central Coast, it has been reported in the media.
The Australian‘s editor in chief, Paul Whittaker announced the news to staff this morning, describing the illustrator as “a giant in his field of cartooning and portraiture”.
“We will miss him dreadfully and our hearts go out to his wife Goong, his stepdaughter Tasha and his sons Johannes and Jasper,” Whittaker said.
“I know that many people at The Australian will be inconsolable over this tragic loss of such a good man.”
Leak was last seen in public on Wednesday evening launching his new book where he was also roasted by Barry Humphries’ alter-ego Sir Les Patterson.
Leak won nine Walkley awards and 19 Stanley awards for his work, and was twice awarded News Corp’s cartoonist of the year.
He never shied away from controversy and even his last cartoon in today’s The Australian (above) showed he was prepared to tackle difficult social issues. His cartoon, last August, depicting Aboriginal parents drew national condemnation. More to come…