Thomas Kinkade (54) died April 6, 2012 at his home in Los Gatos in the San Francisco Bay Area of what appears to have been natural causes, according to family spokesman David Satterfeld. He leaves behind his wife and four daughters. He called himself the Painter of Light, and his artwork is said to be in at least 10 million homes.
His childhood sweetheart and wife Nanette said:
“Thom provided a wonderful life for his family. We are shocked and saddened by his death.”
Before Kinkade’s Media Arts Group went private in the middle of the past decade, the company took in $32 million per quarter from 4,500 dealers across the country, according to the Mercury News. The cost of his paintings range from hundreds of dollars to more than $10,000. This means Kinkade was worth more than $1 billion.
On June 11, 2010 Kinkade was arrested for DUI, and had twice the legal limit for alcohol in his blood. This came two weeks after his one of his companies filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. He was sentenced to 10 days in jail. He had to attend a nine month DUI offender program, was assessed a $1,846 fine, and had to serve five years of informal court probation.
He was still on DUI probation when he died.
People will only remember the Thomas Kinkade paintings, which were world-class, and will bring joy to many people forever.