Dan Wieden's wife Priscilla carries on his creative legacy at Caldera Arts

Eve Edwards October 2, 2022
Dan Wieden's wife Priscilla carries on his creative legacy at Caldera Arts
Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

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Dan Wieden, best known for coining Nike’s iconic “Just Do It” tagline, has passed away at the age of 77 with his wife by his side, as confirmed by Insider.

Wieden co-founded Portland-based advertising agency Wieden + Kennedy with late partner David Kennedy back in 1982. They created numerous successful campaigns for the likes of McDonald’s and Bud Light, but are best known as the minds behind Nike’s “Just Do It.” Wieden was confirmed to have passed on Friday, September 30, 2022.

“Thank you Dan, for throwing the doors wide open for people to live up to their full potential,” Wieden + Kennedy’s official Twitter account posted in tribute.

Survived by his wife Priscilla Bernard and children, Dan Wieden’s creative legacy will continue on through the work the Wieden family does with Caldera Arts.

Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

Who is Dan Wieden’s wife?

Dan Wieden is survived by his wife, Priscilla Bernard, and his children. Dan and Priscilla married back in 2012, just four years after the death of his first wife, Bonnie Scott. Dan and Bonnie were married from 1966 until her death in 2008.

The late ad titan had four children with Bonnie Scott, whom Priscilla Bernard is step-mother to. Their children are Tami Wiedensmith, Laura Blatner, Cassie Wieden, and Bryan Wieden. Priscilla has three children named Nathan Bernard, Bree Oswill, and Sean Oswill.

Priscilla has appeared at a number of charity and fundraising events alongside Dan Wieden over their decade of marriage. She is heavily involved in Portland’s creative community. Priscilla currently serves on the Board of Directors for Caldera Arts, an organisation the Wieden family created in 1996.

Dan credits first wife Bonnie for creating soul of his ad agency

Speaking to It’s Nice That back in 2015, Dan Wieden touched on his first marriage and how he credits Bonnie for creating the “heart and soul” of Wieden + Kennedy.

After being fired from his job at a paper manufacturer, Dan Wieden went home to pregnant Bonnie (expecting their fourth child) who optimistically replied to the news: “Something’ll come up.”

“She gave me what I could not give myself – permission to fail. That’s the heart and soul of this agency. You have to be able to fail if you’re going to do anything with life,” Wieden told It’s Nice That.

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Priscilla and the Wieden family carry on Dan’s creative legacy

In 1996, the Wieden family launched Caldera Arts, an arts and environmental summer camp based in the mountains of Oregon. The organisation has evolved to include artist’s residencies and mentorship programs.

“The idea was to bring young people with limited opportunities together with talented creative professionals to make art and be in relationship with the natural world,” the website’s description reads. Caldera have nurtured thousands of creative minds over the past 25 years and continue to do so, shaping the youth of Oregon.

Dan Wieden’s family continues to work with Caldera, upholding the late ad great’s legacy. His wife Priscilla Bernard Wieden serves on the Board of Directors, as does his son, Bryan Wieden.

The Wieden family is asking for remembrances to be made as gifts to Caldera Arts.

Tributes to Dan Wieden flood the internet

As news of Dan Wieden’s death circulates, a number of friends and colleagues have taken to the internet to pay homage to the late ad industry icon.

Ad company Goodby Silverstein tweeted: “If advertising could have holy people, Dan Wieden was certainly one of them. He spoke to those of us well beyond his own company, telling us it was critical to do things that had never been done before, and convincing us all that those things were already inside of us.”

David Griner, former editor of Ad Week, tweeted in remembrance: “So much or what there is to love in advertising and creative marketing traces directly to Dan Wieden. The innovation, the dry wit, the willingness to elevate voices other than your own. This is a true and tremendous loss.”

Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images
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Eve spends her days writing about everything culture-related. From celebrity news to music, film and television, Eve covers all bases. When she’s not writing you can find her making music or mastering the art of homemade pasta.