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Legendary copywriter Julian Koenig dies aged 93

The late, great Julian Koenig

Julian Koenig died in New York last week at the age of 93, his daughter confirmed today.

The legendary copywriter brought the world campaigns for likes of Timex, Xerox and the original Volkswagen Beetle, penning the now infamous words ‘Think Small’ for its first campaign in 1959.

He served at DDB under the watchful eye of Bill Bernbach, who Koenig said "gave him a hard time", before becoming a partner in Papert Koenig & Lois in 1960. Fred Papert hailed him as "one of the greatest copywriters of all time".

Last year, Koenig spoke with The Drum’s editor-at-large David Birss on his career.

“Oh, I’ve had no big achievements; just some advertising,” he said.

While humble about his many triumphs in advertising, Koenig was proud to talk about one achievement - inventing thumb wrestling.

“I believe I did. I was a camp supervisor for a boy’s camp. We went through leg wrestling, arm wrestling and what was left? So I invented thumb wrestling,” he joked.

Koenig leaves behind three daughters, Sarah, Pim and Antonia; a son, John; and seven grandchildren.

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