John Rogers — president of San Diego Comic-Con and Comic-Con International — has passed away as a result of complications from glioblastoma, a form of brain cancer.
Rogers initially began working for the pop culture company in 1978 prior to being elected as the company's president in 1986. Under Rogers' 30-plus years at the helm, San Diego Comic-Con saw itself grow from a small event drawing 5,000 locals to an international event attended each year by hundreds of thousands of people across the globe.
The convention first broke the news on their official Twitter feed.
"It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of John Rogers, President of Comic-Con," the account tweeted. "John died on Saturday, November 10, 2018 as a result of complications from glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer."
"As our longest serving president, first elected in 1986 and re-elected every year since, John's tenure saw Comic-Con grow from a select gathering of fans to the largest and most prestigious convention of its kind in the world."
Under Rogers' leadership, San Diego Comic-Con found itself 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, essentially an unheard-some in the convention circuit.
Although the convention has grown to include movie and television productions as Hollywood continues it's descent into the medium, Comic Con-International spokesman insists the companies mission is to continue bringing comic books to the forefront.
"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 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.