Comedian Mort Sahl, who was widely considered the father of modern political satire, died on Tuesday. He was 94.
His friend Lucy Mercer said that he died “peacefully” at his home in Mill Valley, California. The cause was “old age,” she said.
Sahl have mocked every president from Dwight Eisenhower to Donald Trump, although he acknowledged he privately admired Democrat John F. Kennedy and counted Republican Ronald Reagan among his closest friends.
Morton Lyon Sahl was born on May 11, 1927, in Montreal, to a Canadian mother and a New York father who managed a tobacco shop. The family moved to the United States where Sahl’s father, Harry, worked for the Department of Justice in various cities.
They eventually settled in Los Angeles, where young Morton joined his high school ROTC program and excelled at speech. His mother said he had started to talk at 7 months and by age 10 already spoke like a man of 30.
After high school, Sahl joined the Air Force, spending 31 months at a remote Alaskan airfield where he edited the post newspaper, Poop from the Group. Discharged in 1947, he entered college.
He took on a number of jobs before his girlfriend, Sue Berber, persuaded him to audition for the hungry i in 1953.
The couple married two years later but divorced in 1957. Sahl married his second wife, former Playboy Playmate China Lee, in 1967. They also divorced.
The Associated Press contributed to this report