ZABOLY, BELA (BILL) (4 May 1910-11 April 1985) made Cleveland the home port of "Popeye the Sailor Man" for 2 decades as artist for the syndicated cartoon strip. Born to Hungarian immigrant parents on Cleveland's west side, Zaboly attended WEST HIGH SCHOOL, where he contributed cartoons to the school newspaper, The West Higher. His art education came from Saturday morning classes under Louise Dunn at the CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART and special classes at the Cleveland School of Art (see CLEVELAND INSTITUTE OF ART). He turned down a scholarship to the CSA to continue his studies at night at the JOHN HUNTINGTON POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE. After winning an honorable mention in the MAY SHOW with an oil painting in 1932, he began working for the Scripps-Howard Newspaper Enterprise Assn. in Cleveland in 1934, drawing the "Major Hoople" cartoons among others. Following the death of its creator, Elzie C. Segar, Zaboly took over Popeye and the "Thimble Theater" cartoon for the King Features syndicate in 1939. Working in his homes in CLEVELAND HTS. and later MORELAND HILLS, he prepared the finished strips from written texts mailed from writers in other cities. His distinctive signature featured the picture of a bee (for Bela or Bill) in front of his last name. After giving up the Popeye assignment c. 1960, he formed his own syndicate and did free-lance work. He was survived by his wife, the former Irene Elizabeth Chandas, and 3 children: Alwyn Zaboly, Irene Z. Church, and Marianne Z. Dodds.

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