National Catholic Reporter

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'Davey and Goliath' creator dies at 90

Richard T. Sutcliffe, the creator of the "Davey and Goliath" animated television series, died May 11.

Sutcliffe died at the age of 90 at a Dallas hospital from complications after suffering a stroke, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America announced.


The video clip below is a sample of the TV show.




Sutcliffe developed the idea that led to the popular series that aired from 1961 to 1976 and is now a property of the ELCA.

As executive producer, he hired the staffers who were responsible for the show's stop-motion animation production. In 2004, Sutcliffe and his production team were honored with the Wittenberg Award by The Luther Institute, which recognized outstanding service to church and society.

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Born in Columbia, Pa., Sutcliffe first worked as a journalist at The Roanoke (Va.) Times and later became assistant editor of The Lutheran, the magazine of the former United Lutheran Church in America, in Philadelphia.

In 1962, when the United Lutheran Church and three other Lutheran church bodies merge to become the Lutheran Church in America, he became associate director of the church's Commission on Press, Radio and Television.

Sutcliffe's daughter, J.T. Sutcliffe of Dallas, told The Dallas Morning News it was years before her father learned the influence of the series he created about a boy named Davey Hansen and his talking dog, Goliath.

"People started saying, `My children love that,' or `We loved it growing up,"' she said. "He's gotten a lot of good and positive feedback in these years looking back on it. I knew that he was happy with it then."'

Sutcliffe became director of university relations for Southern Methodist University in 1969, the Dallas newspaper reported. He later became a director of communications for the Dallas Chamber of Commerce, but returned to the university position and retired in 1982.

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