- Associated Press - Thursday, December 8, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - A pioneer in the comic book industry who helped create The Joker in the Batman series has died.

Jerry Robinson died Wednesday at age 89.

Charles Kochman, his editor at Abrams Comic Arts, says Robinson brought realism and humor to comics.

Kochman, a New York City resident, worked on a book published last year called “Jerry Robinson, Ambassador of Comics.”

As an ambassador for the genre, Robinson fought to win comic artists copyrights to their own work.

A native of Trenton, N.J., he was only 17 when he was hired by Batman creator Bob Kane. In the early 1940s, Robinson contributed images for some of pop culture’s greatest icons including The Joker for issue No. 1 of “Batman.”

Later in life, Robinson taught at New York’s School of Visual Arts.