The McCann Time Capsule: Athletic Hall of Famers
A recent New York Times article about scientists studying Ed Whitlock, the 85-year-old marathon runner, clearly puts to shame anyone who has already abandoned his 2017 fitness resolutions. The Canadian Whitlock is part of an amazing never-too-late phenomenon which, as Runner’s World pointed out in a story four years ago on the “Whitlock Mystery” and “New Research on Older Runners,” also included in this elite company Clive Davies, an art director long associated with McCann on the west coast.
Davies, who first took up long-distance running at age 57, was a freelance art director for more than four decades at McCann’s Portland office, dating back to 1935. (That 1933-1981 McCann Oregon agency, incidentally, is where Dan Wieden first met David Kennedy before making creative advertising history). Davies’s major aerobic achievement, which elevated him into the Road Runners Club of America Hall of Fame in 1984, was finishing the 1982 Boston Marathon, at age 66, in 2 hours, 43 minutes and 56 seconds. As his RRCA Hall of Fame citation says, “The following year, Sports Illustrated wrote that it would be no great stretch to call him ‘the world’s most gifted distance runner.’” Davies died at age 85 in 2001.
Davies is only one of several Hall of Fame athletes who have worked at McCann. International Tennis Hall of Famer Don McNeill, who juggled his 1940s New York McCann career with multiple tournament achievements, was already covered last August by this blog.
But McCann New York’s claim to athletic fame also includes Nancy Burghart Haviland, a 1960s media estimator on the Coca-Cola account who was elected into the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame in 2007. As Cycling News said in covering her induction a decade ago, the Jackson Heights native “dominated women's cycling during the 1960s when she won eight national championships” and “not only dominated road events but won numerous sprint and pursuit championships, displaying her versatility as a consummate competitor. “