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'I ♥ NY' Designer Milton Glaser Dead at 91

'I ♥ NY' Designer Milton Glaser Dead at 91
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Glaser receives the National Medal of Arts in 2009.

Milton Glaser, one of history's most revolutionary designers — and the man who encouraged people to declare that they ♥ NY, died Friday on his 91st birthday.

The cause, his wife confirmed, was a stroke and renal failure.

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Glaser's joyous approach to design led to an astonishing number of iconic works, including his 1966 silhouette of Bob Dylan with multi-colored hair for the singer's "Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits" (1967), a 1968 Olivetti ad that merged a 15th-century Piero di Cosimo painting with modern commerce, the 1976 DC Comics bullet logo (retired in 2005), and more than 400 posters including for the Tony-winning musical "The Wiz" (1974) and the Tony-winning play "Angels in America" (1991).

Born June 26, 1929, in the Bronx, New York, Glaser studied design and co-founded the highly influential Push Pin Studios in 1954, which was credited with the '60s balloon-style animation popularized in the Beatles' "Yellow Submarine" (1968).

In 1968, Glaser and Clay Felker co-created New York magazine, for which Glaser co-wrote the popular column "The Underground Gourmet" for seven years with Jerome Snyder.

Glaser left Push Pin in 1975, having formed Milton Glaser, Inc. the previous year, and New York magazine in 1977.

His most famous work, the simple "I ♥ NY" logo, was created by him in 1977 as a commission from the state of New York to push tourism. It took off in a way that surprised even Glaser, who said he did not accept payment for the work, which was based on artist Robert Indiana's famous stacked LOVE design.

In 2001, Glaser modified his "I ♥ NY" design, adding the words "More Than Ever" and a smudge to the red heart to symbolize the 9/11 terror attacks.

Over the span of his career, Glaser was the recipient of every conceivable award a graphic designer could receive. In 2009, President Obama bestowed upon him the coveted National Medal of Arts, making him the first in his profession to be so honored.

Glaser is survived by his wife of more than 60 years, Shirley.

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