'Family Circus' Cartoonist Bil Keane Dead at 89

11/9/2011 9:43 AM PST

Bil Keane, the man behind the iconic comic strip "Family Circus" died yesterday ... he was 89.

"Family Circus" has been in circulation for more than 50 years and is currently featured in roughly 1,500 newspapers.  The single panel strip centers around the antics of four young kids, Billy, Dolly, Jeffy, baby PJ and their parents.

Keane was working right up to the end ... his final "Family Circus" comic is dated October 26th.