Osamu Tezuka was a Japanese manga artist, cartoonist, animator, film producer, medical doctor and activist. Born in Osaka Prefecture, his prolific output, pioneering techniques, and innovative redefinitions of genres earned him such titles as "the father of manga", "the godfather of manga" and "the god of manga." Additionally, he is often considered the Japanese equivalent to Walt Disney, who served as a major inspiration during Tezuka's formative years.
Tezuka began what was known as the manga revolution in Japan with his New Treasure Island published in 1947. His legendary output would spawn some of the most influential, successful, and well received manga series including Astro Boy, Jungle Emperor Leo, Black Jack, and Phoenix, all of which won several awards.
Tezuka died of stomach cancer in 1989. His death had an immediate impact on the Japanese public. A museum was constructed in Takarazuka dedicated to his memory and life works, and Tezuka received many posthumous awards. Several animations were in production at the time of his death along with the final chapters of Phoenix, which were never released.