The City College of New York is hosting an event next March—The George Lois Memorial—that will celebrate the lives of creative advertising legend Lois and his artist wife Rosemary.
Lois died last month at the age of 91, just two months after the death of his wife. They were married for 71 years.
In 1960, after serving as an art director at Doyle Dane Bernbach, Lois co-founded the ad agency Papert Koenig Lois, said to have been the first agency to have an art director as a principal.
Lois is credited with helping bring a 1960’s counterculture sensibility to advertising and publishing, including a decade long-series of covers he created for Esquire (one portrayed boxing great Muhammad Ali as the martyred St. Sebastian with multiple arrow wounds).
After PKL, Lois co-founded several other firms including later in his career Good Karma Creative with his son Luke.
He was inducted into the Art Directors Hall of Fame, the One Club Creative Hall of Fame and the American Advertising Federation Hall of Fame. He also received lifetime achievement honors from the American Institute of Graphic Arts and the Society of Publication Designers.
In 2016 he donated a large portion of his body of work to the City College of New York which created the George Lois Big Idea Archives. It includes over 100,000 items ranging from concept tissues to finished ads, commercials, magazine covers, logos and more.
The memorial is scheduled for March 1 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
PKL was also the first agency to go public.