Ohio artist who created Mr. Clean image and worked on Smokey Bear dead at 92

The Associated Press
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The Ohio artist who created the Mr. Clean character that became a long-lasting advertising hit has died at age 92.

In this photo taken in November 1984, artist Richard Black (left) works with his class at Rosewood Art Centre in Kettering, Ohio. — File photo by The Associated Press

Fairmont Presbyterian Church in Kettering says services are planned Saturday for Harry Richard Black. The Dayton Daily News reports Black died Sunday at his home after a brief illness.

Consumer products maker Procter & Gamble Co. credits Black with creating the muscular bald man who cleans things up quickly.

The company chose his depiction to represent its cleaner when it launched in 1958. Mr. Clean quickly became a popular brand and advertising character.

Black also was among artists behind depictions of Smokey Bear for U.S. Forest Service fire-prevention messages.

The Philadelphia native opened his own studio in 1950 and did illustrations for national companies and magazines. He was a longtime educator at colleges.

Organizations: Fairmont Presbyterian Church, Dayton Daily News, Procter Gamble Co. U.S. Forest Service

Geographic location: Ohio, Kettering, Philadelphia

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