Samuel B. Crispin, who founded the ad shop that eventually became Crispin Porter + Bogusky, passed away on Monday at the age of 90.
A Midwesterner, Crispin attended the University of Illinois and served in WW II on a submarine. In a memo to CP+B staff, agency Vice Chairman Jeff Steinhour said Crispin saw “serious action in the South Pacific and the Philippines.” He was wounded when a shell exploded on his sub, the SS Perch II, and he spent three months recovering in Hawaii.
After the war he moved to Detroit where he entered the advertising business, working on a number of automobile accounts. Tiring of Michigan winters, Crispin moved to Florida and in 1965 founded Samuel B. Crispin Advertising in Coconut Grove, building an agency that focused on travel and tourism accounts in the U.S. and the Caribbean.
“Along the way he often hired a talented young copywriter for freelance work named Chuck Porter who forged a lasting relationship with Sam,” Steinhour recalled in his memo. After many years of working together on projects Crispin made Porter an offer he couldn’t (or at least didn’t) refuse--“If you join us, you can build whatever you like, get rid of any clients you want and start over if needed to build a great creative-driven shop where none have existed before.” In January of 1988, Crispin & Porter Advertising was born. In 1993 Porter bought out Crispin and his son, Charles. Alex Bogusky became a partner in the mid-nineties.
After the buyout Crispin continued to come to his office at CP+B, spending his days “reading his four daily newspapers and planning his next excursions for his life-long love of sailing,” Steinhour wrote. “Sam always kept an office at the agency and came in several days a week for the next 20 years. He loved the outdoors, his hobbies and he loved CP+B. Many of us had the pleasure of getting to know Sam as the proud patriarch of the place we called home. He was a true gentleman and was always looking for ways he could offer a tip on an account that was loose or pass along a business idea he heard about. Mostly he was just a dear friend to a lot of the agency that knew him… He lived a long life and enjoyed the hell out of it, travelling, sailing and staying close to his family.”