Maxwell “Mac” Dane

Maxwell “Mac” Dane

Mac Dane still keeps an office on the 20th floor of 437 Madison Ave., home of his namesake agency DDB Worldwide. Twenty years in one building is an eternity for some but not the 94-year-old Dane, who remembers the early years on 43rd Street, when he and co-founders Ned Doyle and Bill Bernbach were regulars at the Algonquin. “We had our preferred table in the corner of the Rose Room,” recalls Dane, whose primarly role was staff management. Dane remembers creative legend Bernbach as “introverted” and “inspirational,” and client handler Doyle as “blunt” and “outspoken” with “sandpaper charm.” His own style? “Even-handed,” he says. It’s that kind of moderation—rare in an industry defined by raging egos—that’s the key to Dane’s longevity. He quit smoking and has tempered his intake of Chivas Regal—although he still has a sweet tooth. Dane has no formal duties as chairman emeritus, almost 30 years after his retirement in 1971. Instead, he keeps tabs on his longstanding relationships with the UJA Federation, Anti-Defamation League and Jewish Week. He enjoys trips to the ballet at Lincoln Center with his wife, Esther, and exhibits at the Frick, just a few blocks from their Upper East Side appartment. Dane, whose sole technological gadget is a cell phone, prefers a fine meal at the Four Seasons to an evening in front of the TV. Thus, he’s not up to speed with current campaigns but does read the ad columns. “I still prefer the printed word,” he explains. “I was brought up that way.”MagnumMatrixMagnumMagnumMatrix