Jim Lange's final cartoon for The Oklahoman (click to enlarge).

Jim Lange's final cartoon for The Oklahoman (click to enlarge).

The Oklahoman is reporting that Jim Lange, their long-time staff cartoonist, died late Thursday at the age of 82.

Jim retired "early" back in October after drawing cartoons for the paper for 58 years. His departure from The Oklahoman was alongside 150 employees who either took buyouts, retired early or were laid off, according to Alan Gardner at the Daily Cartoonist.

“He liked what he did, and didn’t really want to retire,” his wife Helen said.

From 1950, when he joined The Oklahoman at the age of 24, until recent years, Lange produced seven cartoons a week. At retirement, he was still drawing five a week. No one, not even Lange, knew exactly how many cartoons he had published over his career, but it probably exceeded 19,000.

Lange was also a co-founder of the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists and served a term as national president during the 1980s.

"Jim Lange was not only one of the greatest political cartoonists Oklahoma ever produced, he was one of the most outstanding cartoonists in the history of American journalism,” said David Boren, University of Oklahoma president.