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Michael C. Gross

  • Birthplace: Newburgh, New York
  • Birthday: October 04
Date of passing: 
November 16, 2015

Obituary

Michael C. Gross was an illustrator and producer best known for creating the iconic "no ghost" Ghostbusters logo. He also served as the art director for National Lampoon magazine, where he created the famous cover image of a dog with a gun to its head and the caption: "If You Don't Buy This Magazine, We'll Kill This Dog."

In 1970, Gross began working as the art director for National Lampoon, where he stayed for four years. The now-classic image began as an ad for subscriptions, but when Gross learned that the magazine was devoting their entire January 1973 issue to making fun of death, it was promoted to the cover. In 2005 the American Society of Magazine Editors rated it one of the 40 greatest covers of all time.

He created the logo of a ghost in a red circle with a slash through it for the 1984 film Ghostbusters, starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Sigourney Weaver. The symbol won the Pratt Institute’s 125th anniversary survey in 2012 for most admired icon created by its alumni and faculty.

Gross also worked for Esquire magazine and other publications before becoming a partner in the graphic design firm, Pellegrini Kaestle and Gross, where his clients included Merrill Lynch, Columbia Records, ABC Television, John Lennon and The Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. He also worked as a senior designer for the 1968 Olympics.

In 1980 Gross made the move to Los Angeles, where he began to produce both film and television. He contributed as an executive producer to the animated TV series The Real Ghostbusters, which ran from 1986 to 1991 and earned him a Daytime Emmy nomination. The children’s show followed the continuing adventures of the ghost removal crew. In 1994 Gross worked on the short-lived animated series Beethoven (the title character was voiced by Joel Murray, brother of Ghostbusters star Bill Murray).

Michael C. Gross was an illustrator and producer best known for creating the iconic "no ghost" Ghostbusters logo. He also served as the art director for National Lampoon magazine, where he created the famous cover image of a dog with a gun to its head and the caption: "If You Don't Buy This Magazine, We'll Kill This Dog."

In 1970, Gross began working as the art director for National Lampoon, where he stayed for four years. The now-classic image began as an ad for subscriptions, but when Gross learned that the magazine was devoting their entire January 1973 issue to making fun of death, it was promoted to the cover. In 2005 the American Society of Magazine Editors rated it one of the 40 greatest covers of all time.

He created the logo of a ghost in a red circle with a slash through it for the 1984 film Ghostbusters, starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Sigourney Weaver. The symbol won the Pratt Institute’s 125th anniversary survey in 2012 for most admired icon created by its alumni and faculty.

Gross also worked for Esquire magazine and other publications before becoming a partner in the graphic design firm, Pellegrini Kaestle and Gross, where his clients included Merrill Lynch, Columbia Records, ABC Television, John Lennon and The Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. He also worked as a senior designer for the 1968 Olympics.

In 1980 Gross made the move to Los Angeles, where he began to produce both film and television. He contributed as an executive producer to the animated TV series The Real Ghostbusters, which ran from 1986 to 1991 and earned him a Daytime Emmy nomination. The children’s show followed the continuing adventures of the ghost removal crew. In 1994 Gross worked on the short-lived animated series Beethoven (the title character was voiced by Joel Murray, brother of Ghostbusters star Bill Murray).

Additionally, Gross contributed to SCTV Network as a graphic designer and the animated television movie Inspector Gadget Saves Christmas as a supervising producer, both of which earned him Emmy Award nominations.

He also produced the 1981 cult film Heavy Metal; Legal Eagles with Robert Redford, Debra Winger and Daryl Hannah; Twins, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito; 1989’s Ghostbusters II; Kindergarten Cop, with Schwarzenegger; Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, with Sylvester Stallone and Estelle Getty; Beethoven; Beethoven’s 2nd and Dave, starring Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver and Frank Langella.

Gross died November 16, 2015, in Oceanside, California. He was 70.

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AWARDS & NOMINATIONS

AWARDS & NOMINATIONS

1 Nomination No Emmys

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