"My mother said I started drawing before I could talk," Anderson told American Profile.
Anderson served in the Navy during World War II and attended Syracuse University on the G.I. Bill. After a short stint with a public relations firm, he became a full-time freelance cartoonist and started "Marmaduke" in 1954.
Sixty-one years later, he was still drawing the strip, with the help of his son Paul.
"Marmaduke" ran in about 500 newspapers, according to the cartoonists society. The secret of its success, said Anderson, was its rambunctious title character.
"Marmaduke is very expressive and very active, and he's always doing something funny or ridiculous or crazy," he said. "He's always jumping over the couch, chasing after a cat. In the car, he wants to take over and drive."
Originally, the dog looked meaner, Anderson observed, but soon became "a very happy dog."
CNN iReporter "sunethra," a fan from Sri Lanka, was saddened by Anderson's death.
"Marmaduke has and still is bringing so much laughter, giggles and happiness to me," sunethra wrote from Colombo, noting that "each morning I remember I would run to grab the newspapers and the first thing that I would search was for Marmaduke. (O)n days that it was not printed I would be very disappointed."
The panel strip remained popular enough into the 21st century that it was turned into a movie in 2010. Owen Wilson supplied the voice of the Great Dane.
* Sorry, I have despised this cartoon my entire life. Who would allow a giant dog to run their household? You might as well have a horse living in your house. What's worse is that it is never funny, not even accidentally. The above cartoon is today's.