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Al Jaffee, the creator of Mad’s classic fold-ins, is dead at the age of 102

    Al Jaffee MAD cover

    Al Jaffee, the celebrated and well-known cartoonist known to generations for his clever creations for MAD magazine, died Monday in Manhattan of multiple organ failure. Fani Thomson, his granddaughter, broke the news.

    Abraham Jaffee, born on March 13, 1921, in Savannah, Georgia, was the oldest of four children born to Jewish immigrants from Lithuania, moving back and forth across the Atlantic several times. The family moved to Queens without their mother, who remained in Zarasai and was later assumed to have died during the Nazi invasion.

    Al Jaffee made history in 2016 when he was named the cartoonist with the longest active career, earning him a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records. Jaffee has been a cartoonist for over 75 years, 60 of which he worked for MAD. Jaffe’s two most well-known comics series, “MAD’s Fold-In” (1964) and “Snappy Answers To Stupid Questions” (1965), are among the magazine’s oldest ongoing features.

    Jaffee made one of his most famous Fold-Ins about President Trump’s approach to health care in 2017. “Who stands to benefit the most from Trumpcare?” asks the cartoonist. When the image of the harrowing hospital scene is folded, it reveals a casket with the response, “Funeral directors.” Jaffee began satirizing political candidates on MAD’s pages in the 1960s and has illustrated nearly 500 political candidates.

    Fun Fact: From 1957 to 1963, Al Jaffee drew the elongated Tall Tales panel for the New York Herald Tribune, which was syndicated to over 100 newspapers.

    Tony M.