Johnny Hart, creator of the successful comic strip "B.C.," is dead at age 76. His wife, Bobby, said he suffered a fatal stroke April 7* at his storyboard.

Created in 1958, "B.C." used wisecracking cave dwellers and animals to comment on current events. Its distributor, Creators Syndicate, Inc., says it appears in more than 1,300 newspapers worldwide, attracting a readership of 100 million.

In 1964, Johnny Hart and artist Brant Parker co-created another long-running newspaper comic strip, "The Wizard Of Id." A devout Christian, Johnny Hart created controversy late in his career by injecting religious themes in his work.

Several "B.C." strips spurred protests over perceived slights of other faiths. Newspapers occasionally pulled selected strips. Johnny Hart is survived by his wife and two daughters, Patti and Perri.

Funeral arrangements had not been announced.

* - Date corrected on April 10.