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Sunday, April 10, 2016

"Old is when your daughter announces she’s seeing a younger man": RIP William Hamilton

William Hamilton, a cartoonist known for his drawings in The New Yorker that skewered the wealthy and powerful, died in a car crash on Friday in Lexington, Ky. He was 76.

His death was confirmed by his wife, Lucy Young Hamilton.

Ms. Hamilton said her husband liked to go for afternoon drives and was about four miles from their horse farm when he either passed out or was distracted and drove through a stop sign. His vehicle was struck on the driver’s side by a pickup truck, she said.

Lt. Jackie Newman of the Lexington Police Department said the collision happened on a windy, rural road at around 2:45 p.m. His vehicle then struck a fire hydrant and he had to be pulled out of the wreckage. He was taken to the University of Kentucky Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, she said.

Ms. Hamilton said she was introduced to her future husband at a mutual friend’s birthday party in January 2002 in Virginia. When they met, she said, she had no idea he was the brains behind a series of popular cartoons in The New Yorker. They married on Nov. 2, 2003.

Mr. Hamilton began his career with the magazine in 1965 and was working for it up to the time of his death, Ms. Hamilton said.

“He was always just drawing and writing and creating,” she said.

Mr. Hamilton’s cartoons had a distinctive quality, Lewis H. Lapham, the editor of Lapham’s Quarterly and a longtime friend, said on Saturday.

“You were never in doubt about who the cartoonist was,” he said. “He had a particular beat, as it were — the preppy world, the world of Ralph Lauren, the Protestant WASP establishment that was on their way out, holding onto their diminishing privileges.”

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