'Please Don't Squeeze the Charmin' Creator Dies

Chervokas Worked at Host of Madison Avenue Shops Including Esty, McCann, Grey, Benton & Bowles

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"Please Don't Squeeze the Charmin" creator John Chervokas died Saturday , at the age of 74, of Parkinson's disease. Mr. Chervokas penned the famous Charmin toilet-tissue commercial as a young advertising writer in 1964 at Benton & Bowles, and it went on to become a beloved commercial, rated by Advertising Age as the 51st best of the 20th century. Mr. Chervokas said in 2000 that he "smiled visibly" every time he remembered the character of Mr. Whipple, whom he introduced in that commercial.

John Chervokas
John Chervokas
Born in Norwood, Mass., in 1936, Mr. Chervokas graduated from Fordham University in 1959. According to the New York Times, he enjoyed stints at Warwick Advertising as vice chairman and chief creative officer; at William Esty Co.; McCann Erickson; Grey Advertising and Benton & Bowles. Finally, in 1987, he joined advertising agency Sudler & Hennessy, becoming exec VP-chief creative officer before retiring in 1994.

Mr. Chervokas began his public-service career in the 1970s by serving as president of the Ossining, N.Y., Board of Education, and went on to become executive director of the Greater Ossining Chamber of Commerce during the mid-'90s. He also served as Ossining town supervisor from 1998 until 2008, when he decided to step down for health reasons.

Mr. Chervokas also wrote books on spirituality, prayer, motivation and business including, "God, Why Did They Ever Elect Me? -- and Other Public Official Prayers."

"He believed in the power of words," said his son Jason. "He was a great public speaker and a great sloganeer."

Mr. Chervokas is survived by his wife Roseanna, sons Josh and Jason, a daughter, Jessica, and three grandchildren.

Click to view PDF of                                                          Ad Age                                                         's 1972 piece from Mr. Chervokas

On Christmas Day of 1972, Ad Age ran a first-person piece from Mr. Chervokas in which he admitted that the infamous "Don't Squeeze The Charmin" tagline was his own work, after years of anonymity. Click the image at left to read his piece in full.
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