Former TU cartoonist Babin dies

Rex Babin, who served as the Times Union editorial cartoonist from 1989 to 1999, died Friday at age 49 after a two-year battle with cancer.

For the past 13 years, Babin was the cartoonist for the Sacramento Bee. While at the Bee, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2003. He was also a past president of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists.

At the Times Union, Babin succeeded Hy Rosen as cartoonist. Rosen, an expert caricaturist, belonged to an earlier era of cartooning, when the panels were thick with commentary. Babin strived to put as few words as possible into his cartoons.

“Rex signaled a transition,” said current cartoonist John De Rosier, who followed Babin into the role. “He brought editorial cartooning at this newspaper into its contemporary form. He has a legacy here, and he had an impact.”

Babin is survived by his wife, Kathleen, and son, Sebastian, 10. The Bee is setting up a trust fund for his son. Checks should be made out to Sebastian Babin and can be sent to:

Pam Dinsmore
Community Affairs Director
The Sacramento Bee
2100 Q St
Sacramento CA 95816-6899

For more about Babin’s career, read the Times Union obituary written by Guild president Tim O’Brien or visit The Sacramento Bee’s coverage.

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