NEW YORK.- George Woodbridge, a cartoonist and illustrator who worked for Mad magazine for nearly 50 years, died in a hospital on Staten Island on Tuesday. He was 73. Woodbridge had a second career as an illustrator of historically accurate military-history works like the three-volume "American Military Equipage, 1851-1872," published in the 1970’s. He was also an American Revolutionary War enthusiast. Woodbridge was born in Flushing, Queens, in 1930, and attended the School of Visual Arts, where he met a group of young artists who included Frank Frazetta, Angelo Torres and Al Williamson, who all went on to work for Mad’s parent company, E. C. Comics. Nick Meglin, a longtime editor for Mad, hired Woodbridge, who sold his first piece to Mad, an illustration of lyrics by Tom Lehrer, in 1957. "George was a humorous illustrator, not a cartoonist," said John Ficarra, the current editor of Mad. "He had a tremendous eye for detail.” Mr. Woodbridge wrote in a hand-written autobiographical note, "My work in the pages of Mad," matured apace with my historical efforts. Indeed I believe the former strongly complemented — even aided — the latter."