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L. Mitelberg, 82; French Political Cartoonist

January 09, 2002|From Associated Press

PARIS — Louis Mitelberg, a cartoonist who for decades lampooned political leaders such as former French President Charles de Gaulle, died Monday. He was 82.

The cartoonist, sculptor and former Resistance fighter died at a hospital in Paris, said his wife, Zuka. The cause of death was not immediately known, but he had been hospitalized since June after a heart attack, she said.

Born Jan. 23, 1919, in Kaluszyn, Poland, Mitelberg moved to Paris in 1938 to study architecture. He joined the French army a year later and was captured by the Nazis in 1940.

He escaped to Russia in May 1941, then made his way to London, where he joined the French Resistance and began his career as a cartoonist. He was naturalized in France after the war.

He received three medals, including the prestigious Croix de Guerre--the War Cross--for his wartime service.

Mitelberg, who worked for the weekly magazine L'Express from 1958 to 1990 and used the pseudonym Tim, created his cartoons with a mixture of fierce wit and stinging sarcasm.

One of his favorite targets was De Gaulle, who was featured in the cartoonist's first book, "Une Certaine Idee de la France" (A Certain Idea of France), published in 1969. He produced two other books in the 1980s.

In the United States, where his drawings appeared in publications such as Time, Newsweek and the New York Times, Mitelberg received the Distinguished International Cartoonists Award in 1982.

He is survived by his wife, a native of Los Angeles who is a prominent artist in her own right; sons Roland and Francois; and four grandchildren.

A private cremation ceremony has been scheduled for Monday.

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