Former Martin Agency president Mike Hughes has passed away at the age of 65 after a long battle with lung cancer.
Hughes is responsible for such high profile campaigns as the Geico cavemen (which even had its own TV show at one point) and the Geico gecko, among others.
He was told in 1998 that even though he was a lifelong non-smoker, he had lung cancer, and that there was an 84% chance he would die within five years. Obviously he overcame those odds. Here’s a video from IAB Mixx 2011, in which Hughes talks about this.
Earlier this year, Hughes was given two weeks to live, and started a blog called Unfinished Thinking, which he updated until he died on Sunday. On the last day, he wrote “An autobiographical obituary by the late Mike Hughes,” which serves as a love letter to his family and friends, and a tribute to what he was proud of.
It concludes, “One final thought. I hope each of you enjoys every minute of your life. You’ve all contributed so much to mine. And one last favor. Keep me in your thoughts. I love you.”
Hughes joined The Martin Agency in 1978, serving as creative director for 30 years, and eventually president beginning in 1995.
AdAge shares a comment from the agency’s Chief Creative Officer Joe Alexander: “We are a family. And we’ve just lost our dad.”
You can see a video tribute they created for him in that article.