Don Tennant was born in Sterling, IL
. He earned a degree at Knox College
in Galesburg, IL
, and during World War II
served as a lieutenant in the Navy.
After the war, he moved to Chicago
and began his career writing and producing for network radio programs. In 1950
, Tennant joined the Leo Burnett
ad agency as its first full-time radio-TV writer and producer. In 1952
, he created Tony the Tiger
character to sell Kellogg's Frosted Flakes cereal
. In 1955
, he came up with the idea for the macho Marlboro Man
to promote Marlboro cigarettes
Over the years, Tennant came up with other popular advertising
slogans such as the Pillsbury
song, "Nothin' says lovin' like somethin' from the oven," and United Airlines
' signature theme, "Fly the Friendly Skies of United."
After resigning from Burnett in late 1970, Tennant worked for Clinton E. Frank
, and in 1973
he started his own company, Don Tennant Advertising. In 1987
, the company was bought by Nobel Communications Co. He remained as a consultant until the late 1990s.
Tennant died of congestive heart failure
on December 8, 2001
at his home in Los Angeles
. He is survived by three children, Andy, Tim, and Tracy, and six grandchildren.