Aubie's existence began as a cartoon character that first appeared on the Auburn/Hardin-Simmons football program cover on October 3, 1959. Birmingham Post-Herald artist Phil Neel created the cartoon Tiger who continued to adorn Auburn program covers for 18 years. the orginal aubie holding his hands in the ear.
Aubie's look on the programs changed through the years. In 1962, he began to stand upright and the next year, 1963, he wore clothes for the first time (a blue tie and straw hat). Aubie's appearances on game programs proved to be somewhat of a good luck charm for Coach Ralph "Shug" Jordan's teams. The Tigers were victorious in the first nine games he graced the cover and in his first 6 years, Auburn posted a 23-2-1 home record. Auburn's home record during the 18 years Aubie served as Cover Tiger was 63-16-2. Aubie's regular appearance on the game program cover ended on October 23, 1976, when Auburn downed Florida State, 31-19, but Aubie was called back onto the cover for three special Iron Bowl appearances: the 1987 game (November 27, 1987) in Birmingham, celebrating and commemorating the 40th renewal of the modern Auburn-Alabama series, the 1989 game (December 2, 1989) celebrating the Tide's "first time ever" trip to Auburn, and in 1991 when Auburn played its final "home game" in Birmingham's Legion Field (November 30, 1991). shot of the orginal aubies head while he celebrates a touchdown.
In 1979, Aubie came to life at the Southeastern Conference basketball tournament. James Lloyd, Auburn spirit director for the Student Government Association, with help from the Alumni Association, contacted Brooks-Van Horn Costumes in New York, N.Y. The Company was provided with copies of the 1961 Auburn-Alabama and 1962 Auburn-Georgia Tech game programs to use for reference in creating a costume of the cartoon character. The firm, which also provided costumes for Walt Disney, designed and produced a Tiger costume for $1,350. Individual contributions from various Auburn clubs, alumni and friends helped pay for the first costume. Aubie proudly marched into the Birmingham-Jefferson County Civic Center on February 28, 1979, and helped lead first-year Auburn coach Sonny Smith's team to an upset of Vanderbilt in his first appearance as a live Tiger mascot. The following day, Aubie returned to the arena and the Tigers surprised Georgia in the longest game in SEC tournament history, four overtimes. Before the weekend was complete, Aubie helped lead the ninth-place team in the regular season to the semifinals of the tournament.