|Birth Day:||July 10, 1921|
|Death Date:||Apr 12, 2001 (age 79)|
|Birth Place:||Worcester, United States|
As per our current Database, Harvey Ball died on Apr 12, 2001 (age 79).
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He earned the Bronze Star during World War II, and in 1979 he was able to retire as full colonel.
After World War II, Ball worked for a local advertising firm until he started his own business, Harvey Ball Advertising, in 1959. He designed the smiley in 1963.
The State Mutual Life Assurance Company of Worcester, Massachusetts (now known as Hanover Insurance) had purchased Guarantee Mutual Company of Ohio. The merger resulted in low employee morale. In an attempt to solve this, Ball was employed in 1963 as a freelance artist, to come up with an image to increase morale. What he created was a smiley face, with one eye bigger than the other. In less than ten minutes, Harvey Ball came up with the simple yet world-changing smiley face. The simplicity of the image brought smiles to the faces of the executives, who paid him $45 for his creation.
The smiley was introduced to France in 1972 as a signal of a good news story in the newspaper France Soir. Frenchman Franklin Loufrani used the image this way and made swift moves to trademark the image. His company now turns over $100 million a year and became embroiled in a copyright dispute with Walmart over the image in the 1990s.
On July 18, 1998, around the 35th anniversary of the design's inception, Ball appeared at That's Entertainment to meet fans and sign smiley pins and art. At this appearance Ball was shown copies of the graphic novel Watchmen issue #1, which featured a notorious image of a smiley face with a splatter of blood across it. Store Manager Ken Carson was quoted as saying Ball seemed amused to see it on the cover.
Ball founded the World Smile Foundation in 1999 a non-profit charitable trust that supports children's causes. The group licenses Smileys and organizes World Smile Day, which takes place on the first Friday of October each year and is a day dedicated to "good cheer and good works". The catchphrase for the day is "Do an act of kindness - help one person smile".
Ball died on April 12, 2001 as a result of liver failure following a short illness. He was 79. He left behind his wife for 54 years, Winifred Trudell, and four children.
The land that was owned by the Ball family, off Granite Street in Worcester, was purchased by the City of Worcester in June 2007, with help from Mass Audubon and a $500,000 grant from the state Executive Office of Environmental Affairs' Division of Conservation Services. This property links Mass Audubon's Broad Meadow Brook Sanctuary with the developing Blackstone River Bikeway. It is now known as the "Harvey Ball Conservation Area" and is home to the appropriately named "Smiley Face Trail".
Ball never applied for a trademark or copyright of the smiley and earned just $45 for his work (US $315 in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars). State Mutual, similarly, did not make any money from the design. Ball's son, Charles, is reported to have said his father never regretted not registering the copyright. Telegram & Gazette reported Charles Ball as saying "he was not a money-driven guy, he used to say, 'Hey, I can only eat one steak at a time, drive one car at a time.'"
The BBC broadcast a radio documentary on 4 February 2012 called Smiley's People that covered the story of the smiley.
Currently, Harvey Ball is 100 years, 0 months and 15 days old. Harvey Ball will celebrate 101st birthday on a Sunday 10th of July 2022.
Find out about Harvey Ball birthday activities in timeline view here.