Joe Ruby, ‘Scooby-Doo’ Co-Creator, Dead at 87

by Matthew Wilson
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All the mysteries have been solved. Joe Ruby, the creator of Scooby-Doo, passed away at the age of 87. Ruby died of natural causes. The cartoonist developed the idea for a group of meddling kids and their dumb dog over 50 years ago.

Ruby partnered with Ken Spears to create Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? on a shoe-string budget. The two wrote the first five episodes of the show and also supervised the first season. It may be hard to imagine a time when Scooby, Velma, or Shaggy weren’t household names, but Ruby and Spears were worried the show would get cancelled.

“We were worried it wouldn’t last but one season,” Spears told ScoobyAddicts.com.

Since the 1960s, the cartoon has gone through several reboots and iterations, each beloved by the generations that followed. Several movies have spawned from the TV show including two live-action theatrical releases in the 2000s and a CGI remake Scoob! earlier this year.

Before he created ‘Scooby-Doo,’ Joe Ruby worked for Walt Disney.

Ruby started his animation career at Walt Disney Productions after a stint in the Army. Working later in editing at Hanna-Barbera Productions, he met Spears. Shortly after, the two developed the idea of a mystery solving gang roaming the country with their dog. The show was initially titled Too Much.

“I’ve tried to figure out what made people like Scooby-Doo so much,” Frank Welker, the voice of Fred Jones and later Scooby-Doo, told the New York Post. “I’m totally blown away that we’ve been on for 50 years. If you put a show like SpongeBob SquarePants next to Scooby it’s like, ‘Whoa! Time warp!’”

Ruby and Spears created several shows together including Dynomutt and Jabberjaw. In 1977, they started their own production company at ABC, producing: Mister T, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Superman and Thundarr the Barbarian.

“He never stopped writing and creating, even as he aged,” Ruby’s grandson Benjamin told Variety.

 Ruby is survived by his wife of 63 years, Carole, four children and 10 grandchildren.

[H/T: New York Post]

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