MEDINA, Ohio– The man who created the original Chief Wahoo character for the Cleveland Indians passed away on Wednesday at Medina County hospice after a short illness. Walter Goldbach was 88 years old.
Goldbach, a longtime resident of Hinkley, leaves behind five children. He worked as a sign painter in Northeast Ohio for many years and served in the United States Army during the Korea War.
He was just a teenager when Cleveland Indians owner Bill Veeck came to his family’s graphics business and requested a character drawing to represent the team. The logo was the grandfather to today’s Chief Wahoo.
FOX 8 News spoke to Goldbach about his now-controversial creation in April. (Click the video player above to watch the story.)
“When I look at him, he’s smiling, whether you are winning or losing,” he said.
Goldbach will be laid to rest at Western Reserve Cemetery on Dec. 21.