Mr. Dane, who was 98, teamed up with Ned Doyle and William Bernbach in 1949 to create an agency closely identified with the industry's "creative revolution" of the 1960s. Some of its best known work -- "Think Small" for Volkswagen, "We Try Harder" for Avis and "You don't have to be Jewish to love Levy's rye bread" -- was marked by a wry sense of humor.
Mr. Dane was born in Cincinnati June 7, 1906, to parents who had emigrated from Russia. He got his first job in his late teens in the mail room of an ad rep company.
From there he took a job as secretary to the ad manager of New York retailer Stern Bros. He went on to positions at the New York Evening Post and the agency Dorland International. His next stop was advertising and promotion manager for Look magazine, where he met Mr. Doyle.
In 1941, Mr. Dane became ad promotion manager for the radio station WMCA. With World War II raging, he arranged for The New York Times to broadcast news bulletins every hour on the hour, an innovation for the market. In 1944 he formed his own agency, Maxwell Dane Inc., which handled accounts including Harris Tweed.
He is survived by a son, four grandchildren, a nephew, and three great-granchildren.