George Rodrigue, 69, an artist who chronicled Cajun life and later found fame with his enigmatic "Blue Dog" images, died Saturday in Houston after a long battle with cancer, the Rodrigue family said.

Mr. Rodrigue, a native of southwest Louisiana, began painting scenes of life in Cajun country in the 1960s but is perhaps best known for the "Blue Dog" that became his signature creation in the 1990s.

In a statement, former Gov. Kathleen Blanco, whose family has known the Rodrigues for decades, says "Louisiana lost a magnificent artist who loved and chronicled the lives of our people." - AP