I was devastated this morning when I received an email from a friend letting me know that Mike Hughes, the patriarch, president and ultimate creative leader of The Martin Agency had lost his battle with lung cancer.
I first met Mike many years ago when he wanted to hire me to work at The Martin Agency. We were only supposed to talk for an hour but we sat at a small table in the cafe next to the agency and talked for nearly four hours about work, advertising and his philosophies. It is still a conversation I remember well and seeing how to carried himself and lead that agency had a huge impact on my career. We stayed in touch over the years through email, Facebook and see each other before to after pitching against each other on a number of different agency RFP’s. I knew he had been battling lung cancer but in all my travels over the past few months I shamefully didn’t know he had been in hospice.
Simply put there is pretty much no one in this industry that I respected more than Mike. He showed me what a great creative leader was and what a great person could do when they lead a passionate group of creative minds. It was an absolute honor to have known him and he will be deeply missed by so many people.
It was no surprise that Mike, always the creative director, wrote his own autobiographical obituary which he posted as his final blog post and you can read here. For those who knew Mike a site has also been set-up by The Martin Agency where you can leave your thoughts.
R.I.P. Mike. Those of us left behind will all try and live up to the example you set for us. We miss you.