August 23, 2008

Mort Kohn

This week the advertising industry, and the world, lost someone special.

Mort Kohn was a wonderful person. An artist, an art director, and a gentle, sweet man.

Our world has an unfortunate habit of bestowing high status on the famous and wealthy, at the expense of people who really deserve high status -- the good and the compassionate.

At a young age, I was made creative director of Allen and Dorward advertising. The first person I hired was Mort to be associate creative director. He was a little older and a lot wiser. He helped me understand what I needed to do and how to do it.

Mort had a wonderful, often self-deprecating, sense of humor. Mort made us laugh every day at lunch over games of liar's dice as he referred to himself as "the human jackhammer."

Sometimes you go to a funeral and a real jerk gets promoted to near sainthood. Mort's was one of the rare ones where all the praise was inadequate.

Good-bye, Hammer.

"Seated Woman" by Mort Kohn

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