Media File
Morrie Turner
Date: American cartoonist, 1923–2014
Biography: Morris (Morrie) Turner (1923-2014) was born in Oakland, California. After service in World War II as a mechanic for the Tuskegee Airmen force and illustrator of comic strips for military newspapers, he worked as a free-lance cartoonist. Inspired by the fact that his friend Charles Schulz did not include any African-American characters in "Peanuts", Turner decided to create his own strip in 1965, and "Wee Pals" was the result. At first, only the Chicago Defender, published by and for African-Americans, took up the strip. After the 1968 assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. over 100 newspapers began to run the strip. Over the years, Turner included children of many ethnicities in Wee Pals, as well as chidren with disabilities. In 1972-73, the animated series Kid Power was based on the strip. The live action television show Wee Pals on the Go was aired by KGO-TV, the ABC owned-and-operated station in the San Francisco Bay Area. It featured child actors who portrayed the main characters of Turner's comic strip. Today Wee Pals is distributed by Creators Syndicate.

Turner contributed his talents to numerous causes, especially those serving children and youth.

Wee Pals has received numerous awards including awards from the American Red Cross and the NAACP, the Boys and Girls Club Image Award, the B'Nai Brith Humanitarian Award and California Educators Award.