Jack Roberts, 68; Founded Largest Advertising Agency in Los Angeles


Jack Roberts, one of the founders of the Carson/Roberts advertising agency and later an executive at Ogilvy & Mather after the two firms merged, died Friday at his home from a long-term respiratory illness. He was 68.

Roberts, who was born in Portland, attended the University of Washington and the Art Center School in Seattle before serving five years as a pilot with the Army Air Corps during World War II.

In 1947, Roberts formed the Carson/Roberts agency with ad man Ralph Carson, which grew into Los Angeles’ largest advertising firm until it merged with Ogilvy & Mather in 1971. Among his clients were Gallo wines, Gates Learjet, Mattel, Max Factor and Baskin-Robbins.


During Roberts’ tenure at Carson/Roberts, he was involved in a high-profile advertising campaign in Eastern newspapers to persuade the Brooklyn Dodgers to move to Los Angeles.

Roberts was creative director at his own firm and worked as director of public service advertising at Ogilvy. Author and illustrator of books on advertising and tennis and magazine articles for AdAge, Adweek and Business Week, Roberts also served as president of the LA Art Directors Club, the International Design Education Foundation and the International Design Conference in Aspen. He won numerous advertising awards and was named to advisory boards at UCLA, USC and the Art Center.

Roberts is survived by his wife, Dian, sons Thane and Kevin and daughters Stephanie and Michele.