Don Keller, Former Leo Burnett Creative, Dies at 84

Exec Had Hand in Critter Campaigns For Charlie the Tuna, Tony the Tiger and Snap, Crackle and Pop

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Don Keller, former Leo Burnett creative director, died Jan. 22 from complications from emphysema. He was 84.

Mr. Keller was a 30-year veteran of Leo Burnett and has been credited with creating storyboards and handling art direction for a number of Burnett clients, including Kellogg Co., and played a major role in the creation of work surrounding Leo Burnett's famed "critters" from the '50s until the '80s. He worked on TV spots featuring Tony the Tiger, and was also known for drawing the first sketches of Charlie the Tuna and was instrumental in early TV work for the Rice Krispies "Snap, Crackle, Pop" campaign.

Mr. Keller was born in St. Louis and was trained as a fine artist at the Art Institute of Chicago after a stint in the Army between World War II and the Korean War. He Joined Leo Burnett in 1955, ultimately working his way up to creative director. He worked there until his retirement in the mid-'80s, when he turned his focus more on his paintings, which were often in the abstract expression genre. He freelanced for Burnett for about a decade after his retirement.

He is survived by daughters Megan Beecher and Katie Bogdanovic; his brother brother of August Keller, and grandchildren Owen Beecher and Dean Bogdanovic.

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