Award-winning advertising man, Maxwell Arnold, dies | September 4, 2013 | Almanac | Almanac Online |


News - September 4, 2013

Award-winning advertising man, Maxwell Arnold, dies

Maxwell "Bud" Arnold, who produced groundbreaking ads for John F. Kennedy's 1960 presidential campaign, died May 24 at Stanford Medical Center at the age of 94. He was a 50-year resident of Ladera in Portola Valley.

One of the original "Mad Men," "Bud" Arnold began his career in the 1950s joining Guild, Bascom and Bonfigli advertising agency as a copy writer, eventually becoming a vice president and creative director.

The agency help lead the move away from traditional ads solemnly praising the product, and Mr. Arnold's work was noted for its wit, clever story lines and striking visuals, say family members. He became known as an expert in the field of political advertising and heading the creative team that produced John F. Kennedy's ads for president.

In 1970, Mr. Arnold opened the Maxwell Arnold Agency, with a mission statement dedicating 20 percent of the agency's time and talent to fighting war, racism, waste and poverty. He also ran campaigns for progressive candidates, notably U.S. Representative Pete McCloskey in his original bid for Congress in 1967, when he defeated Shirley Temple, and Mr. McCloskey's presidential primary challenge of Richard Nixon in 1972.

His commercial clients included Domaine Chandon, the Clift Hotel, the Embarcadero Center, Golden Gate Transit, and his beloved Giants.

Born in San Francisco, Mr. Arnold grew up in Minneapolis. When he was 15, the family moved to Boston. He enlisted in the Navy and served in North Africa and the Atlantic during World War II.

He graduated from Stanford University, where he was the student and friend of Wallace Stegner, who invited him and his brother, Richard, to join the university's new Creative Writing Center. He published stories in the Sewanee Review and Harper's that were later reprinted in the annual Stanford Short Stories.

Mr. Arnold is survived by his three children, Jane A. Halsey and Carol Lela Arnold of New York City, and Oliver Maxwell Arnold of Berkeley; two grandchildren; and nephew William Arnold of Portola Valley. His wife of nearly 60 years died in 2007.


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