Sydney, March 14: Bill Leak, an amazing cartoonist known for his wit and courageous paintings that sparked the entire world. Cartoonist Bill Leak died due to cardiac attack. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull also took to Twitter for express his grief.Leak, who joined the Australian in 1994 after working at the Bulletin and the Sydney Morning Herald, died of a suspected heart attack on Friday morning in Gosford hospital on the NSW central coast. Many other colleagues also spoke in the support of Bill Leak who died at the age of 61. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said that he and his wife Lucy had known Leak for more than 30 years and he was “always a good-humored sceptic of anybody and anything in authority. “Who had more life, more energy than him? So many more cartoons to draw, paintings to paint, politicians to satirise - so many more lives to enhance with his wit, his brilliance, his good friendship.”
Editor in Chief Paul Whittaker described Leak as “a giant in his field of cartooning and portraiture and a towering figure for more than two decades” at the newspaper and said he was “simply irreplaceable”. “We will miss him dreadfully and our hearts go out to his wife Goong, his stepdaughter Tasha and his sons Johannes and Jasper,” Whittaker said. The cartoonist Bill Leak has wife Goong, stepdaughter Tasha and sons Johannes and Jasper.
With his paintings, controversies always sparked and kept him in the limelight. One of his paintings which drew him to threats was of Prophet Mohammad and the other one was of father and son which targeted indigenous Australians. In a cartoon about indigenous parental neglect, published in August 2016, Leak depicted a police officer telling an Aboriginal man holding beer to talk to his son about personal responsibility. The indigenous man replied: 'Yeah righto. What's his name then?' The cartoon prompted a racism complaint to the Human Rights Commission. He held his nerve in the face of complaints to the Human Rights Commission over his works and in the face of death threats against him after he drew a cartoon depicting Mohammed. These paintings sparked a complaint to the Human Rights Commission under section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.
Defending his paintings, Bill Leak said that "freedom of speech is what created our civil and free society. It is all about the exchange of ideas, about letting people express their views in the marketplace of ideas." The Walkley Foundation awarded Leak nine times over his long career. Bill Leak had just recently released his book, Trigger Warning: Deplorable Cartoons by Bill Leak.