Eugene Merril Deitch (August 8, 1924 – April 16, 2020) was an American-Czech illustrator, animator, comics artist, and film director. Based in Prague since 1959, Deitch was known for creating animated cartoons such as Munro, Tom Terrific, and Nudnik, as well as his work on the Popeye and Tom and Jerry series.
After graduating, Deitch began working for North American Aviation, drawing aircraft blueprints. In 1943, he was drafted and underwent pilot training before catching pneumonia and being honorably discharged in May of the following year. From 1945 to 1951, Deitch contributed covers and interior art to the jazz magazine The Record Changer. In the 1950s, Deitch was an early supporter and audio engineer for Connie Converse, one of the first American singer-songwriters. Converse appeared once on CBS television due in part to Deitch’s connections with the network, but otherwise found little success and eventually abandoned music only to be rediscovered decades later, through recordings Deitch had made of her music in 1954.
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