EJL’s Benson Dies

James F. Benson, a highly regarded creative director whose career in advertising spanned 42 years, died March 15 after suf fering a heart attack. He was 75 years old.

Prior to his re tire ment in 1992, Benson served as evp and creative director at the for mer Eisaman, Johns & Laws Adver ti sing in Los Angeles. During his 34 years at the shop, Benson is credited with creative contributions and strong brand images that set a standard for holding accounts on a long-term basis.

His work included major branding efforts for the upscale fra grance Giorgio Beverly Hills and the liqueur brand Kahlua. He is also credited with helping Pennzoil become the top-selling motor oil with a series of spots featuring the golfer Arnold Palmer. In addition, the veteran adman headed the Cooper Tires account and estab lished EJL as Chevrolet’s first agency for dealer groups.

“Jim Benson had almost un match able cre ative skills, lead er ship abil ities, grace and integrity,” said Dean Laws, former chairman of EJL. “Jim was one of the finest people I’ve ever known.”

Born in North Branch, Minn., in 1926, Benson moved to California in 1937. A veteran of WW II, he served in the Navy from 1944-1946, and graduated with honors from UCLA, receiving a bachelor’s in applied arts, in 1950. His hobbies included music composition, travel, painting and gardening.

Benson is survived by his wife of 51 years, Elaine, as well as daughters Julie Benson Krumrine and Robin Benson; his grandsons Duncan and Griffin Krumrine; a sister and two brothers.