Doug Winger loses battle with COPD
Update (13:20 PT): Doug Winger has passed away at the Western Medical Center in Tustin, California.
One of the greats, one of the true giants of the furry fandom, has lost his battle with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or emphysema, brought about by smoking and other ailments.
Winger was well-known, even notorious, regarding his trademarked art style involving (nearly always) hyper-endowed hermaphrodite characters, and has been an online member of the fandom since the early 1990s. Like it or hate it, his art changed the furry fandom in ways that would render the fandom almost unrecognizable without it.
Born in 1953, his media credits as a freelance animation background artist include Nickelodeon's Dora the Explorer and Angry Beavers and as a graphic artist for toy companies Playmates Toys, Hasbro, Fisher-Price, Mattel, Applause Inc., Jakks Pacific, MGA Entertainment, Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Wham-O as well as for media company Radio AAHS, among others.
In addition to the fandom and media, Winger was a former Engineer for Republic Aviation Corporation where he was the Acting System Engineer for the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II AN/AAS-35(V) Pave Penny laser spot tracker. Winger also held an array of technical jobs (computer programmer, IT, software development, data management).
Mark Schirmeister has volunteered to act as a snail-mail correspondent between well-wishing fans and Winger's family during this tragic time, and is accepting PayPal donations to help cover funeral expenses.
While one might think of the ancient Japanese proverb "the candle that burns twice as bright burns for half as long," his longevity with the fandom might instead invoke the western proverb "it's better to burn out, than fade away."