Legendary Chicago marketing and advertising ‘GOAT’ Joel Goldsmith passes

Joel Goldsmith

Legendary Chicago Marketing and Advertising “GOAT” and Producer Joel Goldsmith passed away earlier this week at age 84, after a lengthy battle with Parkinson’s Disease. 

Joel was a legend in advertising. Beginning his early career as an accomplished copywriter, next a Creative Director he quickly rose through the ranks of the top agencies in Chicago and Los Angeles as VP Executive Producer. To everyone who knew him he was the GOAT. Dapper, witty, charismatic, charming, sharp, and a dedicated mentor, Joel was beloved by colleagues and friends who often compared him to his on-screen doppelgänger Dudley Moore. 

News of his passing was confirmed by his son Derek Goldsmith in a public Facebook post:

“Yesterday I lost my father and best friend. Joel Goldsmith, age 84 of Chicago, passed away after a lengthy battle with Parkinsons. He was the son of Evelyn and Sam Goldsmith of Austin, Chicago, where he was born and raised. He is survived by his devoted wife of 26 years, together 31 years, Barbara Goldsmith and his sons Evan de Board of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and Derek Goldsmith of Chicago, Illinois. He also leaves Nephews and Nieces Alissa and Jason Morrow, Jeff and Lauren Shandling and brother in law Fred Shandling and his wife Barbara Shandling.

In lieu of flowers please we appreciate donations to michaeljfox.org.

Goldsmith was born and raised in Austin, Chicago. In 1979 he took a position as Group Creative Director at Tatham Laird & Kudner LLP in Chicago and really put down roots as he built his impressive resume working at agencies including DDB Chicago, Foote, Cone & Belding (FBC), and J. Walter Thompson before stepping out on his own, successfully working freelance as a Producer for the past 15 years. 

Once news of his passing spread, his friends and colleagues shared their thoughts on social media. 

Karim Bartoletti, Partner and Executive Producer from Indiana Production Company and personal friend and colleague of Goldstein shared a photo that was taken of the two of them in the 90’s and shared, 

“You were a great man and a fantastic Producer Joel Goldsmith Ciao and ciao and ciao again.”

Maureen Butler, talent representative and founder of Mo Butler Reps in Chicago commented,
“Kindest, knowledgeable, most humble Producer ever. What the world needs now…more people like Joel goldsmith. God bless.” 

Will Meyers, Executive Producer at MINIMAL Productions, friend and colleague of Goldsmith shared his heartfelt feelings about his passing with Reel Chicago

“Joel Goldsmith was everyone’s favorite Producer. Humble, kind and with a laugh out loud wit. He was smart as he was kind, kind as he was funny and shared his knowledge to mentor countless Producers, creatives, account people and clients. His presence has been missed but his style and class was shared and will continue in everyone his generous spirit touched.”

He also shared a public facebook post regarding Joel Goldsmith’s passing, 

Goldsmith was laid to rest at Westlawn Cemetery on Wednesday February 16 surrounded by his immediate and beloved family. 


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