LOS ANGELES: Comic strip artist Mort Walker, a World War II veteran who satirized the Army and tickled millions of newspaper readers with the antics of the lazy private named Beetle Bailey, died Saturday. He was 94.

Walker died at his home in Stamford, Conn., said Greg Walker, his eldest son and a collaborator.

Walker began publishing cartoons at age 11 and was involved with more than a half-dozen comic strips in his career, including Hi and Lois, Boner’s Ark and Sam & Silo. But he found his greatest success drawing slacker Beetle, his hot-tempered sergeant and the rest of the gang at fictional Camp Swampy for nearly 70 years.

At first Beetle Bailey failed to attract readers, and King Features Syndicate considered dropping it after just six months.Walker said the syndicate suggested Beetle join the Army after the start of the Korean War.

Walker attributed the success of the strip to Beetle’s indolence. “Most people are sort of against authority,” he said. “Here’s Beetle always challenging authority. I think people relate to it.”

Fellow cartoonists remembered Walker on Saturday as a pleasant man who adored his fans.