John Rogers, the president of San Diego Comic-Con and Comic-Con International, has passed away due to  complications from glioblastoma, a form of brain cancer.

The convention first broke the news on their official Twitter feed.

Rogers joined San Diego Comic-Con 1978, and was elected company president in 1986, and then reelected every year since. Over his 30 year tenure, Rogers saw the convention grow from a small 5,000 attendee local convention to an international event drawing hundreds of thousands of people from around the world. Under Rogers’ leadership, San Diego Comic-Con was transformed into a multi-million dollar operation. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Comic-Con International posted a net gain of $3.4 million for fiscal year 2014, unheard of in the convention circuit.

“We have a mission to bring comics and related popular art to a wider audience,” spokesman David Glanzer said in a statement. “So while people see images in the media of many attendees dressed in costume, or big booths on the exhibit floor, there are also two floors of meeting space that are used for panels, workshops and programs that highlight areas of art that the public may not be generally aware.”

Rogers was 57. He is survived by his wife Janet Tait, sister Barbara, and brother David. The Rogers family has asked for donations to be sent to The American Brain Tumor Association or the American Civil Liberties Union in lieu of flowers.


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