It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Don Addis, an influential proponent of freethought and reason. For more than fifteen years, from 1992 to 2008, the art of Don Addis enlivened the pages of Free Inquiry. From a single wordless image to captioned cartoons to depictions of characters in conversation, Addis's work never failed to deftly capture the messages of the articles his illustrations accompanied.
Mr. Addis freelanced for Free Inquiry (actually donating much of his work) while producing editorial cartoons for the St. Petersburg Times and The Independent, posts he held for forty years. He began drawing professionally in 1946. The Florida Education Association gave him four consecutive School Bell Awards starting in 1969 for "sharp wit and stinging satire." In 1974, the Times and Independent were named Best Illustrated Newspapers in a statewide contest, with Mr. Addis taking first place in cartooning.
National publishers of Mr. Addis's freelance work included Playboy, which ran his cartoons from 1959 to 1999. In 1962, he created the magazine’s "Symbolic Sex" feature. He launched several strips for syndication, starting with Briny Deep in 1980. The Great John L, a strip about a playground fighter that replaced Briny in 1982, was distributed to seven hundred newspapers.
Addis's most successful venture was the single-frame Bent Offerings, begun in 1988. In 1993, it won the National Cartoonists Society's annual award.
Mr. Addis was seventy-four when he died of lung cancer on November 29. He will be greatly missed.
—The Editors of Free Inquiry