Andrew ‘Clark’ Robinson, 91

Andrew “Clark” Lee Robinson died Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014. He was 91 years old. He is pre-diseased by his wife of 62 years, Beatrice Laura Barna Robinson. The cause of death was heart failure.

Clark, the son of Ellwyn Wilson and Marea Catherine Caldwell Robinson, was born Dec. 31, 1922 in Chillicothe, Ohio. Baptized in St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, he later attended St. Mary’s Catholic School in Chillicothe, and graduated from Cleveland Heights High School, in Cleveland. He attended The Cleveland Institute of Art and Miami University, where he was Editor of The Miami Tomahawk, and worked on The Miami Student, the oldest college newspaper west of the Alleghenies.

At Miami University, he was President of the fraternity Phi Delta Theta, and was a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, The National Leadership Honor Society. He appeared in many student dramatic productions including The Drunkard, Taming of the Shrew, Oedipus Rex, and played the lead in the pre-Broadway production of The Eve of St. Mark. He also directed and worked on set design, and was a member of Ye Merrie Players. In addition, he became a member of the Hermit Club and appeared in a number of plays at The Cleveland Play House.

On Dec. 8, 1941, the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed, Clark enlisted in the U.S. Army and volunteered for pilot training. After flight training and officer candidate school he was deployed to England, where he was co-pilot of a B-24 Lead Crew in the 565th Squadron of the 389th Bomb Group in the 2nd Air Division of the 8th Air Force. His aircraft was shot down in Holland during Operation Varsity, and he was recommended for a Silver Star, and awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, and Air Medal with clusters when his crew took over lead position for the 2nd Air Division during the infamous suicide fighter attack on April 7, 1945 by the German special unit “Sonderkommando Elbe.”

After the War, Clark went back to Miami University to finish his degree in fine arts. In early 1948 he graduated and began his career in advertising at McCann-Erickson in Cleveland, Ohio, as an Art Department apprentice.

In 1950 he was appointed Art Director on the Alcoa account at Fuller, Smith & Ross in Cleveland. After working on Pennzoil, Fostoria Glass, Diamond Alkali and the Westinghouse accounts he was promoted to Head Art Director of the largest art department in the Midwest.

Clark re-joined McCann-Erikson as Executive Art Director in 1956 and won praise for his work on Standard Oil, Ohio Bell Telephone, Mean Paper, Adler Socks, and Anchor-Hocking accounts.

He was then lured to New York City by Cunningham & Walsh, where he was Creative Group Head, creating ads for Texaco, Jergens Skincare, and Woodbury Soaps.

Clark later became Vice President/Creative Director at Ketchum, MacLeod & Grove in New York City, where he worked on the CIBA Pharmaceuticals, AGFA Films, Continental Banking, Gulf Oil, McGraw-Hill, Pennzoil and KMG chemicals.

Leaving Ketchum, Clark founded Robinson, Donino & West, Inc. and created advertising campaigns for WABC, and ABC’s owned radio stations, National Geographic, Varig Airlines, American Iron & Steel Institute, Aviation Week & Space Technology, Dell Publishing, Walt Disney’s Book Division, Medical World News, Sterling Regal, Invicta Luggage, Boys Life, Herman’s Sporting Goods, The Press Box, and Butte Knits, which was, in the 1960s, the largest manufacturer of women’s clothing in the world.

When the U.S. economy hit the skids in 1970, RDW found that even their best clients were impacted and were slow to pay their bills. Over-extended by an ambitious move to the Burlington House building on 6th Avenue, adjustments had to be made, and the decision was made by the principals to split accounts and staff between themselves, and go separate ways. Clark moved over with his team to Friedlich, Fearon & Strohmeier, where he became Senior Vice President/Creative Group Head developing ads for Leggett & Myers (the only ad featured in the book Art of our Times) and Shearson-Hammil and Great Western Winery.

In 1972, he founded Clark L. Robinson, Inc., and moved his business to a barn in Wilton, Conn. There he wrote and designed ads, booklets, trademarks and TV commercials for National Geographic, Marx Toys, Diamond International, Boys Life and Decisionex among others.

In a 48-year career, Clark’s advertisements were featured in textbooks. His designs for packaging, products and corporate branding were cited internationally by graphic publications. Among them were more than 60 industry awards including Advertising Ages’ 100 Best Ads of the Year (Butte Knits: Most effective ad in fashion category), 100 Best Ads from Reader’s Digest (Texaco). The Harry Packer Medal for Outstanding Outdoor Ads (Sohio BORON), Delaware Valley Best of the Year (Diamond International), Art Directors Club of New York’s Gold Medal (Medical World News), and Society of Illustrations (ABC Radio).

He taught “Advertising Design” at Cleveland’s Institute of Art, and “Designing with Type” at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan.

In his later years he painted with the Fairfield Water Color Group and drew hundreds of cartoons for the strip “The Slippery Slope,” which appeared in the weekly newspaper The New Canaan Advertiser.

Clark, and his wife Beatrice, were charter members of the New Canaan Dance Club, The Lake Club, Country Club of Darien, and the American Legion Post. He served as President of The Senior Men’s Club of New Canaan.

He met his wife Beatrice when he returned to Miami University from World War II. They were married 62 years before she passed away Dec. 28, 2009, five years to the day before Clark’s passing on Dec. 28, 2014.

In 2010 Clark wrote about his recollections of growing up during the Great Depression, and flying in combat against the Germans in World War II in his book, If I Remember Correctly.

He was a frequent and enthusiastic traveler, an avid do-it-yourselfer, a prolific photographer and painter, who had an indomitable and positive outlook on life. He will be missed by all who knew him.

He is survived by his children Laura Lee Robinson, Diane Marie Storck, Kevin Christopher Robinson, and Michael “Kerry” Robinson. His eldest son, Drew Clark Robinson, was killed in and accident in 1995.

Additionally, he is survived by five grandchildren, Robert John Storck, Isabel Keturah Bornstein, Nicolas Lee Bornstein, Anna Carlisle Robinson, Drew Hattie Prather Robinson and Aven Irene Kellert.

Funeral services to be held at 11 a.m., Jan. 3, 2015 at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church, 111 Oenoke Ridge, New Canaan, CT, 06840.