Albert B. Feldstein, the influential editor of MAD magazine, during it’s heyday period from 1956-1984 has died, in Montana, age 89. Feldstein lived quietly in Paradise Valley Montana for the last two decades with his wife Michelle spending much of his twilight years painting. He painted American Western art and revisited his early comic-book style, on his isolated Paradise Valley ranch.
During his 30-year stint as editor of Mad he was responsible for the development of the Alfred E. Neuman character which was central to the magazine’s core image. Newman was what you might call the cover boy and mascot of the publication. He was known for his gap-toothed grin, freckles and the “What, Me Worry?” catch-phrase.
The MAD Magazine website states; “When Al Feldstein replaced Kurtzman as editor, he decided to link “Alfred E. Neuman” with the face of the idiot kid. The idiot kid made his official debut in 1956 as a write-in candidate for President on the cover of MAD #30, and the magazine now had an official mascot and cover boy. In the next issue, Alfred made his second cover appearance pictured as an addition to Mount Rushmore.
Born in Brooklyn in 1925, Feldstein worked in comic books in the 1950s before joining MAD Magazine, where he worked as editor for nearly 30 years before retiring in 1984. The period included the development of MAD’s signature wackiness, sharp social commentary, and recurring features such as its television and movie spoofs, the “Spy vs. Spy” comic, and the wildly stylized human characters of Don Martin. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Arts degree by Rocky Mountain College in Billings in 1988.