Local icon, world renowned artist and 'Blue Dog' creator George Rodrigue has died.

NEW IBERIA, La. (KPEL) -- George Rodrigue, the acclaimed artist best known for his paintings of Blue Dog, has reportedly died.

According to Rodrigue's family, he "passed away after a long battle with cancer."

Gov. Bobby Jindal released the following statement:

Supriya and I were saddened to learn of the passing this evening of a friend and one of Louisiana’s favorite sons, George Rodrigue. His work as an artist is iconic and uniquely Louisiana. George’s Blue Dog not only became symbolic of his work, but it became a symbol for Louisiana. This earned him the ability to paint the likes of world leaders including Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton.

His work made him an ambassador for our state and a renowned artist, but he never forgot his Louisiana roots. Indeed, there are countless stories and examples of his charity work to help the people of Louisiana. Without question, his paintings will live on, but his legacy will be much more than paint on a canvas.

Former Gov. Kathleen Blanco released the following statement to KATC TV-3:

We are saddened to learn of the death of our dear friend George Rodrigue and we offer our deepest sympathies to his wife Wendy and his sons Jacques and Andre.

Louisiana lost a magnificent artist who loved and chronicled the lives of our people. He gained national and international attention when he painted his now very famous Blue Dog.

George Rodrigue was a personal and close friend of ours going back to the years when Raymond taught him at Catholic High School of New Iberia.

George and his wife, Wendy, were instrumental in lending several pieces of his art for display at the Governor's Mansion. They also found other professional Louisiana artists who contributed to our mansion art while I was governor.

His legacy is reflected in the inherent beauty and messages of his unique body of work. We will miss him dearly.


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