NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Ohio artist who created Mr. Clean, the bald character in a white T-shirt featured in advertisements for Procter & Gamble cleaning products for more than 50 years, died this week, local media reports said. He was 92.
Harry Richard Black, of Kettering, Ohio, died at his home on Sunday after a brief illness, the Dayton Daily News reported.
Born in Philadelphia, Black’s artistic career included a 20-year commission from the Department of the Interior to paint Smokey Bear, the fire prevention mascot who warns that “only you can prevent wildfires.”
In 1956, Black conceived Mr. Clean, a good-natured, muscular man with a hoop earing and dazzling white T-shirt, who promised to easily cut through grease and grime.
Procter & Gamble launched the Mr. Clean advertising campaign in 1958, and the brand and its associated jingle became hugely popular.
Black served in the United States Army Air Corps, the predecessor to the U.S. Air Force, during World War Two, the Daytona Daily News said. He was married and had three sons.
Memorial services will be held on Saturday, the paper reported.
Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Bernadette Baum