Dan Wieden, a Portland-based designer Wieden + Kennedy died at the age of 77.

OREGON'S PORTLAND — The legendary Portland-based advertising agency Wieden + Kennedy's co-founder has passed away.

Dan Wieden, a Portland-based designer Wieden + Kennedy died at the age of 77.
Dan Wieden - W+K photo

At the age of 77, Dan Wieden died away on September 30. Wieden was born on March 6, 1945, in Portland.

He attended Grant High School before enrolling at the University of Oregon, where he earned a journalism degree in 1967.

The agency sent the following statement to KATU News:

We are devastated. But, more than that, we are overcome with appreciation and love. Thank you, Dan, for making it possible for others to reach their greatest potential. Thank you for your tenacity, courage, faith, and unwavering love. Thank you for allowing me to live this amazing creative life. We shall miss you terribly."

Wieden met his creative collaborator, the late David Kennedy, while working at McCann-Erickson, an advertising firm.

Wieden and Kennedy joined the William Cain firm, where they worked on a variety of projects, including one for a local start-up, Nike.

Wieden and David Kennedy launched Wieden + Kennedy on April Fool's Day 1982, with only one customer, the aforementioned Nike.

After being informed by Nike's creator, Phil Knight, that "he didn't believe in advertising," the guys set about creating some of the most memorable advertising campaigns in history. In 1988, Wieden developed the Nike slogan "Just Do It." 

In addition to receiving the University of Oregon's Pioneer Award in 1999, Wieden has received other honors, including those for Oregon's Entrepreneur of the Year and Professional of the Year.

The One Club Hall of Fame, the Art Directors Hall of Fame, and the American Advertising Federation Hall of Fame all inducted Wieden.

Dan Kennedy and David Kennedy changed advertising as professionals. According to Doug Zanger, a former editor of Adweek and The Drum, "He will continue to influence millions of lives via what he built in Caldera as an Oregonian and human being.

Wieden and his family created Caldera in 1996. At Blue Lake in the Oregon Cascades, the camp originally operated as an arts and environmental summer camp. Zanger noted that he was referred to as "Papa Bear" at camp.

His wife, Priscilla Bernard Wieden, daughters Tami (Wieden) and Peter Wiedensmith, Laura (Wieden) and Joe Blatner, Cassie Wieden, son Bryan Wieden and wife Jessica, stepson Nathan Bernard, stepdaughter Bree Oswill and Matvey Rezanov, step-son Sean Oswill and wife Nicole, step-son Sean Oswill and wife Nicole, 12 grandchildren, and siblings Ken and Sherrie survive him. His mother Violet, father Duke, and first wife Bonnie are all deceased. 

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