Dan Wieden, the ad icon behind Nike’s ‘Just Do It.’ slogan, has died

Nike’s famous slogan, “Just Do It,” was created by the man who invented it. According to the advertising agency he co-founded, he has passed away.

Wieden+Kennedy reported that Dan Wieden, 77, died on September 30, with his wife at his side, at his Portland, Oregon home.

Wieden, an independent advertising agency, was born in March 1945. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree as a journalist in 1967. Before moving into copywriting, Wieden worked in public relations.

Before he was fired, Wieden worked as a writer for Georgia-Pacific (a company that produces forest products). After that, Wieden became a freelancer before joining McCann-Erickson who was responsible for marketing for Georgia-Pacific. Following in the footsteps of his father, who was also an advertising professional, he entered advertising.

After meeting his business partner David Kennedy at McCann he moved to William Cain, where a client was Nike.

In April 1982, the two started their advertising agency with Nike as its sole client.

Famously, Wieden coined the Nike slogan “Just Do It.” In 1988.

“Wieden+Kennedy’s success and growth is evidence of Dan’s vision–an independently creatively managed agency, founded to stand out from the rest, making meaningful work, for its clients,” said the agency in a statement. Wieden, a writer by nature, never intended to build a large advertising agency. He wanted to make a place where people could do their best work.

Wieden was well-known for his generosity and won many awards. Caldera Arts is a camp for arts and environment in Central Oregon, founded by Wieden’s family.

His wife, Priscilla Bernard Wieden, and their children, stepchildren, and grandchildren are his survivors. Bonnie, his first wife, died in 2008.

Caldera Arts have been asked by the family to accept gifts.

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