Legend “Dan Wieden” Who Coined Nike’s “Just Do It” Died

PORTLAND (KOIN), Dan Wieden, the man who invented the phrase Nike’s slogan, has died at home in Portland at the age of 77.

Wieden founded Wieden+Kenne along with David Kennedy in 1982, April Fool’s Day.

Wieden, who left his everyday job in 2015 to join the company, is credited for inventing the phrase “Just do it.”

This renowned agency was responsible for iconic campaigns as well as a pioneering documentary-style Honda ad. The agency’s shakey-camera technique was widely copied in the industry.

Wieden + Kennedy stated in a statement:

“We are devastated. We are overwhelmed with love and gratitude, but even more so. We are grateful to Dan for opening the doors to allow people to reach their full potential. We are grateful for your perseverance, courage, faith, and unwavering love. We are so grateful for this wonderful, creative life. We will be missing you .”

(L-R:) Rich Silverstein, Dan Wieden, George Lois and Dan Wieden, all from the film “Art & Copy”, pose for a portrait in the Film Lounge Media Center at the Sundance Film Festival 2009, January 16th, 2009, Park City, Utah. (Photo by Matt Carr/Getty Images).

Kerry Tymchuk, Director of Oregon Historical Society, stated that Wieden + Kennedy was very important to Portland.

Tymchuk stated that Wieden + Kennedy and Dan Wieden made Portland the center of the creative industry just as Columbia and Nike made Portland the capital of the sports apparel industry. “Other advertising firsts, Oregon has kept other marketing firms coming back because Wieden + Kennedy gave them their start or they were attracted to Wieden + Kennedy’s work.”

Kennedy, who was 82 years old, died nearly a year ago.

Wieden was born in Portland and graduated from Grant High School. He also earned a journalism degree at the University of Oregon. Wiedne was a supporter of and creator of local non-profits.

Dan Wieden’s family requests that any remembrances are given to Caldera Arts as gifts. Caldera Arts is a non-profit that Wieden founded that supports Oregon artists and students.

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