Ted Bell left a successful advertising career to write thrillers about a British billionaire secret agent. Ted Bell, a former award-winning advertising copywriter and creative director who abandoned Madison Avenue in his early 50s to recast himself as a best-selling novelist by writing and marketing his Alex Hawke spy thrillers, died on Jan. 20 in Hartford, Conn. He was 76. The cause was an intracerebral hemorrhage, a type of stroke, said Evelyn Lorentzen Bell, a former wife. Mr. Bell evolved from a successful advertising executive seductively pitching products like Heinz ketchup, Miller Lite beer and Marlboro cigarettes to an author of fever-pitch thrillers for readers enraptured by the exploits of Hawke, a British billionaire secret agent. After the Young & Rubicam advertising agency, the world's largest at the time, lured Mr. Bell from Leo Burnett U.S.A. to become its vice chairman and worldwide creative director in New York in 1993, he was asked to describe his creative philosophy. His answer, in the context of product promotion, might have applied correspondingly to his later career as an author. The theme should be “fresh and fun and exciting” and “tell a really strong story,” Mr. Bell told The New York Times. “The only reason we're in this business,” he said, “is to sell.” Theodore Augustus Bell III was born on July 3, 1946, in Tampa, Fla. His father was an investment firm executive. His mother was Mary Trice (Howell) Bell. The couple divorced when he was young, and he […] Credit…Ted Gushue
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