Dan Wieden

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Dan Wieden
Dan Wieden 2014.jpg
Wieden visiting a wasabi farm in 2014
Dan Gordon Wieden

(1945-03-06)March 6, 1945
DiedSeptember 30, 2022(2022-09-30) (aged 77)
Portland, Oregon, U.S.
EducationUniversity of Oregon
OccupationAdvertising executive
Notable work
  • Bonnie Scott
    (m. 1966; died 2008)
  • Priscilla Bernard
    (m. 2012)

Dan Gordon Wieden (/ˈwdən/; March 6, 1945 – September 30, 2022) was an American advertising executive who co-founded ad firm Wieden+Kennedy. A native of Oregon, he coined the Nike tagline "Just Do It."[1]

Early life[edit]

Wieden was born in Portland, Oregon, on March 6, 1945, to Duke Wieden who was in advertising, and his wife Violet.[2] Wieden attended Ulysses S. Grant High School in northeast Portland, where he was on the swim team.[3] In 1966, he married Bonnie Scott (d. 2008), and they had four children.[2] After graduation from Grant, he enrolled at the University of Oregon in Eugene, graduating from its School of Journalism and Communication in 1967.[2]


After college Wieden worked at Georgia-Pacific, then headquartered in Portland.[2] After time as a freelance writer, he was hired at McCann-Erickson, an ad agency where he first met David Kennedy, with that agency handling the Georgia-Pacific account from its Portland office.[2] In 1981, Georgia-Pacific moved to Atlanta, and McCann-Erickson closed their Portland shop, with Wieden moving to the William Cain advertising agency with Kennedy.[2] There, the two started handling the then small Nike, Inc. account.[2] The next year, on April 1, the two started their own advertising firm, Wieden & Kennedy.[4] One of the new firm's main accounts was Nike, with Wieden coining the "Just Do It" tagline for the sportswear company in 1988.[1][5]

Wieden and David Kennedy were listed as number 22 on the Advertising Age 100 ad people of the 20th century. He was named one of America's 25 most intriguing entrepreneurs by Inc. [6] Wieden has been Oregon's Professional of the Year, Oregon's Entrepreneur of the Year, one of the world's 50 CyberElite by Time magazine, and one of 32 members of the One Club Creative Hall of Fame. Wieden was featured in Doug Pray's documentary Art & Copy. In 2015, he stopped daily work for the company.[7]

Later life and death[edit]

Wieden was the founder of Caldera, a nonprofit arts education organization and camp for at-risk youth located in Sisters, Oregon. In 1999, he was inducted into the University of Oregon's Hall of Achievement.[8] After his first wife died in 2008, he married Priscilla Bernard in 2012.[2] Wieden died from complications of Alzheimer's disease on September 30, 2022, in Portland, at the age of 77.[1][9]


  1. ^ a b c O'Brien, Kyle (October 2, 2022). "Dan Wieden, Co-Founder of Wieden+Kennedy, Dies at 77". Ad Week. Retrieved October 2, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Manning, Jeff (October 1, 2022). "Dan Wieden, the ad legend behind Wieden + Kennedy, Nike's 'Just Do It,' dies at age 77". Oregonian/OregonLive. Retrieved October 1, 2022.
  3. ^ Memoirs. Portland, Oregon: Ulysses S. Grant High School. 1961. p. 196.
  4. ^ "Creative: Double Vision". Adweek. January 25, 1999. Retrieved October 1, 2022.
  5. ^ Vlamis, Kelsey (October 1, 2022). "Dan Wieden, the advertising icon behind Nike's 'Just Do It' campaign, has died". Business Insider. Retrieved October 3, 2022.
  6. ^ Berger, Warren (April 1, 2004). because he's a true independent. Inc.
  7. ^ Mesh, Aaron (October 1, 2022). "Dan Wieden, Who Coined Nike's Slogan "Just Do It" at His Prolific Portland Ad Agency, Dies at 77". Willamette Week. Retrieved October 1, 2022.
  8. ^ "Dan Wieden, '67". School of Journalism and Communication Hall of Achievement. University of Oregon. Archived from the original on April 26, 2014. Retrieved April 25, 2014.
  9. ^ Williams, Alex (October 14, 2022). "Dan Wieden, Adman of Nike 'Just Do It' Fame, Is Dead at 77". The New York Times. Retrieved October 14, 2022.

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