The 75-year-old illustrator passed away at his home in Hurley, New York on Monday (13Apr15).

Trimpe was the first artist to sketch the iconic X-Men mutant in 1974, when the clawed character made his debut in an issue of The Incredible Hulk.

In addition to his Wolverine work, Trimpe also sketched illustrations for other popular Marvel Comics entities, including Spider-Man, G.I. Joe, Godzilla, Captain America and Iron Man.

Trimpe was also an Episcopalian deacon, who served as a chaplain at the World Trade Center site in New York City following the 9/11 terror attacks.

His philanthropic efforts earned him the Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award, an honour bestowed upon animators and artists in comics who work tirelessly to serve society.

Trimpe, a Vietnam War veteran, continued sketching right up until his death, and made appearances at comic book conventions around the world - he was a guest at New Jersey's East Coast Comicon over the weekend (ends12Apr15).