DONALD M. ZUCKERT 1934-2013
Donald M. "Don" Zuckert, 79, one of Madison Avenues original "Mad Men" during what some consider the ad industrys heyday in the 1960s, 70s and beyond, died Monday, Oct. 14, following a heart attack. He was a resident of Jupiter, FL, with homes in New York City and New Castle, NH.
Mr. Zuckert was born on April 3, 1934, in New York City, the son of the late Sidney and Doris Zuckert. His brilliant career in advertising began in 1960 at Ted Bates & Co. in New York, which was acquired by Saatchi & Saatchi in 1986. Throughout his career at Bates, Mr. Zuckert ran many of the agencys prestigious accounts including Anheuser-Busch, Hertz, Mars, Marx Toys, Panasonic, and Pfizer. He was also responsible for acquiring numerous agencies around the globe long before that was in fashion. Mr. Zuckert ultimately assumed the position of chairman and CEO of Ted Bates Worldwide before leaving the firm following its merger with Backer & Spielvogel in 1988.
In ensuing years, Mr. Zuckert started a niche marketing firm called Arcature with former Ted Bates colleagues, and acquired C&W, a frozen vegetable firm in California in 1991. In 1995, he was named vice chairman of DraftDirect, an agency which was later acquired by Interpublic Group.
Mr. Zuckert graduated from the King School in Stamford, Connecticut, and entered Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine as a member of the Class of 1956. Following graduation, he entered law school at New York University, served six months on active duty as Captain in the U.S. Army, and completed his law degree in 1959. He served in the U.S. Army Reserves for nearly ten more years.
Throughout his adult life, he remained an active member of the Bowdoin College community, where he was a member of the Governing Boards. He was elected an overseer of the College in 1987, a trustee of the College in 1995, chair of the Board of Trustees from 2002-2005, and trustee emeritus in 2005. He also established the Donald M. Zuckert Visiting Professorship and the Zuckert Career Services Technology Fund. After insisting there be space in the museum where students could learn, he was honored with the dedication of the Zuckert Seminar Room in the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.
Anyone who came in contact with Mr. Zuckert found him to be a friend and mentor, generous with his time and financial resources. But no description would be complete without mention of his fabulous sense of humor, his love for family and friends, and his respect and commitment to higher education. He also had a passion for collecting, from sports memorabilia to fine wine to 20th century paintings and American folk art, including a prized possession of American weather vanes. His creativity, sharp wit, infectious laugh, flair for the written word, and sparkling green eyes will be remembered by all who knew him.
Mr. Zuckert is survived by his loving wife Susan (Liefter), whom he married in 1957, two sons, Andrew (Karen) and Timothy (Carol), five grandchildren: Maxfield, Samuel, Carlyn, Sally Rose, Abigail, and his brother Owen.
A tribute to Don will be held for friends and family on Friday, October 18, 2013, at 1 p.m. at The Innis Arden Golf Club (120 Tomac Avenue) in Old Greenwich, CT. Memorial contributions may be made to the Donald M. Zuckert Visiting Professorship Fund at the College, and sent to Secretary of the College, Bowdoin College, 4100 College Station, Brunswick, Maine 04011-8432.
Online condolences may be left at www.leopgallaghergreenwich.com.