Credit: Everett Collection

Scooby-Doo co-creator Joe Ruby died Wednesday at the age of 87 in Westlake Village, Calif., according to Variety and Deadline.

Along with his writing partner Ken Spears, Ruby created a number of cartoons for Hana-Barbera Productions in the late '60s and '70s. Scooby-Doo is the most famous of them, but there were also Dynomutt and Jabberjaw. Ruby once said that he and Spears assumed Scooby-Doo would face the same fate as those other cartoons (one season of TV and then mostly forgotten) but instead it has inspired decades of franchise spin-offs and continuations — from a couple live-action movies to countless comic books, snack tie-ins, animated show reboots, and several animated movies, the most recent of which was this year's CGI-animated Scoob! 

Scooby-Doo was so successful that Fred Silverman, CBS' present of children's programming, hired Ruby and Spears to oversee the studio's Saturday morning cartoons. They followed him to ABC a couple years later, setting up their own studio, Ruby-Spears Productions, in 1977. There they produced more shows such as Mister T, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Superman, and Thundarr the Barbarian. Ruby-Spears also hired legendary comic artist Jack Kirby (who co-created most of the Marvel superheroes who populate the Marvel Cinematic Universe) to develop shows and concepts for them. Unfortunately, most of that work has still never seen the light of day, despite fledgling efforts in the early 2010s.

Ruby himself went on to oversee animated versions of live-action shows and movies such as Punky Brewster, Rambo, and Police Academy: The Animated Series. He is survived by his wife Carole, four children, and 10 grandchildren.

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

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