Associated Press brings us the sad note:
The woman who came up with a neon sign that has welcomed countless visitors to “fabulous Las Vegas” since 1959 has died.
Betty Willis, credited with designing the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign, died in her Overton, Nev., home on Sunday, according to an obituary on the Virgin Valley & Moapa Valley Mortuaries’ website.
The 91-year-old artist’s often-copied sign sits in a median in the middle of Las Vegas Boulevard south of the Strip.
“It’s the most recognizable icon in the world,” said Danielle Kelly, executive director of The Neon Museum in Las Vegas, where the signs of Sin City’s past are retired and on display.
So recognizable an icon is hardly a trivial contribution; be not surprised should Betty Willis turn up on trivia night at the pub in the near future.
Image note: Undated photo of the iconic sign welcoming visitors to Las Vegas. The sign was designed by Betty Willis in 1959. (Photo: Sam Morris/AP)
Associated Press. “Betty Willis, who designed iconic ‘Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas’ sign, dead at 91”. New York Daily News. 21 April 2015.