19 de noviembre de 1923 - 27 de abril de 2000.
Jane Trahey, Ad Executive And Author, Is Dead at 76
By ANNE-MARIE SCHIRO
Published: April 25, 2000
Jane Trahey, one of the most prominent advertising women of the 1960's, who was best known for Blackglama's ''What Becomes a Legend Most?'' campaign, died of cancer Saturday at her home in Kent, Conn. She was 76.
Known as a brilliant copywriter, Ms. Trahey was also credited with catchy slogans for Dynel, Union Carbide's synthetic hair (''It's not fake anything. It's real Dynel.''), Danskin Inc. (''Danskins Are Not Just for Dancing.'') and Echo Scarves (''The Echo of an Interesting Woman.'').
Among her other clients were Elizabeth Arden, Bill Blass, Olivetti typewriters, Hamilton watches, Pauline Trigere fashions and Ebony magazine. She also created public service advertising for the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, for which she served as vice president and member of the board. Ms. Trahey was named Advertising Woman of the Year in 1969 by the American Advertising Federation.
Ms. Trahey founded Trahey Advertising Inc. in New York in 1960. The name was changed in 1966 to Trahey/Wolf after she formed a partnership with Henry Wolf, the photographer and art director. After Mr. Wolf left in the early 1970's to open his own production company, Ms. Trahey then took as a partner Peter Rogers, who had been working for her as an account executive and de facto office manager.
She and Mr. Rogers worked together on the Blackglama ads starting in 1968. The ads in the early years featured celebrities like Barbra Streisand, Lauren Bacall and Maria Callas swathed in mink, with the catch phrase ''What becomes a legend most?'' The celebrities were considered so glamorous that they were never identified by name. The ads continued to be produced by Mr. Rogers after Ms. Trahey gave up the agency business in the mid-1970's. The last ad, featuring Tommy Tune, ran in 1996, making it one of Madison Avenue's longest-running campaigns.
Ms. Trahey was too creative to worry about the details of running a business, recalled Rocky Piliero, who worked as production manager of her agency starting in 1969 and is still working with Mr. Rogers. ''It was a very informal company, like a playground,'' Mr. Piliero said yesterday. ''Ms. Trahey didn't like accounts. She liked projects. She liked to do something new. She'd be gung-ho for six months, then get bored.''
To keep her fertile mind active, Ms. Trahey also gave lectures to professional women's organizations and wrote scores of magazine articles, novels, humorous pamphlets, a play and a self-help book called ''Jane Trahey on Women & Power: Who's Got It. How to Get It.''
Her play, ''Ring Round the Bathtub,'' which was produced on Broadway in 1972 and starred Elizabeth Ashley, was a sentimental look at an American family in Chicago, her hometown, during the Depression. She also wrote of her youthful experiences in ''Life With Mother Superior,'' a novel that was made into a film called ''The Trouble with Angels'' starring Rosalind Russell and Hayley Mills.
Her other books included ''Thursdays Till Nine,'' a humorous novel about a fictional Texas department store inspired by an early job at Neiman Marcus, and ''Pecked to Death by Goslings,'' based on her experiences converting a Connecticut barn into a home.
She called the converted barn Versailles, she said in a 1964 article in The New York Times, ''not because it looks like it, but because it costs as much.'' She later sold that house.
Ms. Trahey's first job was at The Chicago Tribune in the clippings library, known as the morgue. ''My mother never got over it,'' Ms. Trahey recalled years later. ''Every time she would call and someone would answer ''the morgue'' she'd cross herself and hang up.''
Her entry into advertising came at the Carson Pirie Scott department store in Chicago. In 1947 she went to Dallas as advertising director of Neiman Marcus, rising to become sales promotion director before leaving for New York to start her own agency.
After leaving the agency in the 1970's, she divided her time for many years between Chicago and New York, working as a consultant, before settling in Connecticut two years ago with Jacqueline Babbin, a friend for 40 years. But wherever she lived, Ms. Trahey never stopped writing or lecturing and could occasionally be cajoled into taking on a challenging project, as she did in 1981 for Joe Famolare, who had been making thick-soled shoes and fashionable clogs since 1970. When fashions changed, Mr. Famolare called on Ms. Trahey, who put his picture in the ads and turned him into a celebrity.
Ms. Trahey is survived by her sister, Anita Richter, and a niece, Kristina Richter Becker, both of Englewood, N.J.
Photos: Joan Crawford in a Blackglama advertisement created by Jane Trahey. Such ads featuring various celebrities ran from 1968 to 1996. (Favara & Raffle); Jane Trahey in 1973. (The New York Times)
Born: Nov 19, 1923 in Chicago, Illinois
Died: Apr 27, 2000 in Kent, Connecticut
Major Genres: Children's/Family, Comedy
Career Highlights: The Trouble With Angels
First Major Screen Credit: The Trouble With Angels (1966)
Jane Trahey is only known to filmgoers for a single work, the book Life With Mother Superior, which was filmed in 1966 at Columbia Pictures as The Trouble With Angels. Strangely enough, Trahey's influence on popular culture goes far deeper than that lone literary/cinematic association would lead one to believe. In her professional life, Trahey's major accomplishment was in the area of advertising, where, for 30 years, she was one of the most successful women in the field. Born in Chicago, IL, in 1923, Trahey was raised a Catholic and attended Catholic schools, graduating from Providence Academy and Mundelein College. Much of the content of Life With Mother Superior was based on actual experiences that she had as a good-natured but rebellious student at the school. She also attended the University of Wisconsin and earned a master's degree from Columbia University. Trahey began working as a receptionist at a Chicago department store and later became a copywriter. She moved to Dallas and went to work for Neiman Marcus, and in 1956 became the director of advertising at the Kayser-Roth agency. In 1960, she started her own advertising agency and went on to became the first woman to earn a million dollars in the advertising business; with such clients as Bill Blass, Calvin Klein, Olivetti, and Elizabeth Arden, she was at the top of her field for decades, and was especially known in the industry for her use of humor in advertising. Life With Mother Superior, her autobiographical novel about life in a Catholic boarding school, was published in 1962 and immediately became popular. In 1966, the book was turned into a feature film directed by Ida Lupino and starring Hayley Mills as Jane (Trahey's fictionalized alter ego) and Rosalind Russell as the Mother Superior, entitled The Trouble With Angels (which also became the more familiar title of the novel). The film was so successful that it yielded a sequel, Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows, utilizing several characters from the earlier movie and the novel. Trahey wrote some 16 books, none remotely as well known as her 1962 novel, and several plays as well. She was one of the most honored women in her professional field. Trahey died of cancer in 2000 at age 76. ~ Bruce Eder, All Movie Guide.
Jane Trahey was an innovative fashion copywriter, pioneer agency owner, award-winning creative leader, mentor, NOW activist, author-playwright-screenwriter and the first adwoman to earn $1 million a year. The Chicago native served Neiman Marcus as ad-sales promotion director, created Kayser Corp.'s innovative house agency and opened her own Manhattan agency in 1958. Her major campaigns were for Blackglama mink, Bill Blass, Calvin Klein, Elizabeth Arden, Famolare footwear, Olivetti and Union Carbide's Dynel. Trahey innovated with retail ads' color and scented ink. The movie "The Trouble With Angels" was based on her novel.