Former McCann Erickson VP Robert Cole Dies at 91

Globe-trotting Exec Oversaw Latin American Operations

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NEW YORK ( -- Robert Cole, a former executive vice president at McCann Erickson, died on Feb. 28 in Jupiter, Fla. He was 91.
Robert Cole
Robert Cole

Mr. Cole spent 28 years with McCann Erickson, running its Latin American operations from Brazil, as well as offices in Italy and Australia. He was fluent in four languages and worked on major accounts such as Coca-Cola and Exxon.

Born in Detroit on Jan. 4, 1917, Mr. Cole graduated from Brown University before enlisting in the Navy prior to World War II. During the war, he spent time doing PR and outreach while stationed aboard a submarine. Once the war ended, he worked at Campbell-Ewald, McCann Erickson for a short time, then Grant, where he was the founder and president of its operations in Brazil (including landing the Chevrolet account). By 1954, he had left for Olin, but rejoined McCann Erickson in 1957.

Mr. Cole lived in Europe, Australia and South America, often traveling with his daughter, K.C., and son, Dan.

Back when crepes could only be found in one place on Earth, Ms. Cole remembers, she spent an entire evening running around Paris with her father to seek them out.

By the time Mr. Cole retired from McCann in 1980, he was executive VP. Upon his retirement, he volunteered for the International Executive Services Corp. in Indonesia and Portugal, and played golf.
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