"Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" Sign Designer Dies

Las Vegas Sign - H 2013
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"We thought the town was fabulous, so we added the word," designer Betty Willis said.

Betty Willis, the designer of the iconic "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign, has died, according to the Neon Museum. She was 91.

The Southern Nevada native, whose name was unknown to many, attended art school in Los Angeles and in 1952 began work at Western Neon, where she designed the iconic sign, now a staple in any Las Vegas cityscape.

In 1959, Willis' design was completed and installed on the strip. ''We thought the town was fabulous, so we added the word,” Willis told the New York Times.

The designer did not trademark her work, saying that it was a gift to the city of Las Vegas, which has allowed the design to freely be printed on souvenirs ever since, Fox 5 reported.

Other recognizable signs designed by Willis include Blue Angel Motel, the City Center Motel, the Normandie, Bow and Arrow Motel, Del Mar Motel and the Riviera pylon, according to the Neon Museum.