Tony Auth, 72, of Wynnewood, the Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist and mainstay of The Inquirer's editorial page for four decades before resigning in 2012 to become a digital artist, has died.

Mr. Auth had been under treatment for brain cancer, and earlier this month was placed in hospice care, his family said. He died Sunday, just days after his friends announced a fundraising effort for an archive devoted to his work at Temple University.

Mr. Auth's remarkable career began in 1971 when the fledgling artist from California flew in to Philadelphia to interview for the position of editorial cartoonist.

Over the next 41 years, Mr. Auth would use his rapier wit in thousands of carefully rendered drawings to kindle discussion on the political and cultural currents of the day. Few could view an Auth cartoon and stay mute.

"As a cartoonist, he was a gem - a journalist who could evoke reactions from readers ranging from anger and indignation to elation and illumination," said Inquirer Editor William K. Marimow.

Mr. Auth drew cartoons about world affairs, national issues, sports, Philadelphia politics - there was no one better at piercing the veils of self-righteous politicians. "Depending on the occasion, his work might be whimsical, feisty or festive," Marimow said.

Mr. Auth's impressive portfolio - he produced five cartoons a week - was a Philly staple when breakfast meant coffee, bacon and eggs, and the morning paper. As the fortunes of the newspaper industry waned, he still reached a national audience through syndication.