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Jack Havey, artist, founder of ad agency

AUGUSTA, Maine -- Jack Havey, the founder of an award-winning advertising agency and an acclaimed artist in the tradition of Norman Rockwell, died Wednesday at Maine General Medical Center. He was 75.

Mr. Havey, a Winthrop resident, died from complications of liver cancer.

Mr. Havey, who was born in the Downeast town of Sullivan, founded Ad-Media of Augusta in 1960. The company produced television and radio commercials, political campaign ads, and independent videos. His clients ranged from Hathaway Shirts and Central Maine Power to International Paper and Sebago Shoes.

He was also a successful portrait artist, illustrator, and writer who captured his Maine coastal upbringing in his humorous memoir, "West Sullivan Days," published in 2001.

He created cover portraits for sports magazines of stars such as Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Joe Namath, O.J Simpson, Babe Ruth, and Ted Turner. He also produced scores of oil paintings of well-known and ordinary Maine people ranging from governors and business leaders to a hairstylist and a Christmas tree farmer.

Norman Rockwell once wrote that Mr. Havey's illustrations "reflect a unique, warm and very professional talent with people."

"He was a fun guy with a wonderful sense of humor," said Beryl Ann Johnson, his wife of 30 years. "That was the first thing that attracted me. A lot of people called him a private person. He was very happy with his life -- always positive. He was a perfectionist."

As an advertising executive, Mr. Havey created the successful Think About It campaign that help elect Maine's first independent governor, James Longley Sr.

Christian Potholm, professor of government at Bowdoin College, said Longley trailed Democrat George Mitchell by 30 points in the weeks before the 1974 election before Mr. Havey's ads ran.

"Longley got all the credit, but without Havey, Jim would not have won," Potholm said. "He came up with the slogan for Longley: Think About It. There was truly something magical about Jack's ability to look at a political situation and capture the dialogue and imagery that would speak to Maine people."

Mr. Havey leaves his wife and three daughters.

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