Jerry Robinson, the legendary comic book artist who created Batman's nemesis The Joker, among other characters in the comic book "Golden Age," died in his sleep last night in New York. He was 89.

New Jersey native Robinson was a 17-year-old journalism student at Columbia when Batman creator Bob Kane hired him to start working on the comic as an inker and letterer. Over the years, as the comic grew, Robinson also helped create Robin, Two-Face and Alfred, and he was later hired by the company that would become DC Comics, where he worked alongside Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.

He eventually went on to sketch weekly cartoons for the Daily News, and in the 1970s, he was a key voice in defending Siegel and Shuster's rights as Superman creators. In 1978, he founded Cartoonists & Writers Syndicate/CartoonArts International to defend creator's rights. He was the president of both the National Cartoonists Society and the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists, and was inducted into the Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2004. In a statement, Jim Lee, DC Entertainment co-publisher and popular “Batman” artist, said “Everyone who loves comics owes Jerry a debt of gratitude for the rich legacy that he leaves behind."