|Jay Chiat, earlier in his career.
Also see: Legendary Adman Jay Chiat Dies
Quotes from Chairman Jay's Little Red Book
But under Mr. Chiat's hand, the agency business underwent one of its most significant transformations.
"Jay was more than advertising," said Tom Carroll, president of the Americas, TBWA Worldwide. "He was brave, smart. ... He kicked the industry in the ass."
Lee Clow, chairman and worldwide creative director at TBWA/Chiat/Day and Mr. Chiat's longtime partner, issued a statement upon learning of the death.
"Jay was my teacher. He taught us to be brave and smart and love the work. His name as well as his passion will always be part of this agency. And the best thing we can do to honor his memory is to every day try and do something great. We'll miss you."
Martin Sorrell, WPP Group chief executive, said via e-mail of Mr. Chiat's death: "It's very sad. He built a wonderful agency, which he was justly proud of."
Rick Boyko, co-president of WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, New York, said Mr. Chiat "will be remembered as a visionary in the business," having built an agency culture "unlike any other."
Mr. Boyko, along with others who worked for Mr. Chiat, remember his unrelenting pursuit of perfection.
'He brought passion'
"He brought passion into the office and made you think about our craft in a different way," Mr. Boyko said.
At one point Mr. Chiat was so unhappy with the "1984" spot for Apple Computers that he balked at showing it to clients. Steve Hayden, who worked on the spot at Chiat/Day, said only Mr. Clow, whom Mr. Chiat respected, could persuade Mr. Chiat to change his mind.
Mr. Boyko said one of Mr. Chiat's greatest qualities was his quick wit, which allowed him to take the edge off some of his stances. For example, when Chiat/Day pitched the RC Cola business, the client insisted on the agency opening a shop in Florida.
After receiving the demand three times, Mr. Chiat finally said his father lived down the street and he would send him along for a visit any time the client wanted.
"Needless to say, we didn't get RC Cola," Mr. Boyko said. "He would not suffer a mediocre client."