David

Hi, if you’ve found us here, it’s likely because you were impacted or inspired in some way by our co-founder, David Kennedy. We want to invite you to share your favorite memories of him here. 

If you have photos or videos you’d like to share, please send them to us at kennedyforever@wk.com and let us know if we have your permission to use them for any future remembrances. 

Per David’s family, please direct all gifts and donations in his honor to the American Indian College Fund

“It’s like Babe Ruth trying to hit a home run: I mean it’s like if you miss, you miss, but at least you swung the bat as hard as you could.” – David Kennedy

3 thoughts on “David”

  1. Tony Davidson
    Thu, Oct 14, 12:50 PM (3 days ago)

    ‘Once a Kennedy always a Kennedy’ was a motto we had when we started our school in Wieden + Kennedy London. It was and remains an honor to run something in David’s name knowing how loved and revered he was in Portland.

    I did manage to get him and Dan to come to London once to give a D&AD talk about 25 years of W+K. We had a blast, although I do remember Wieden worrying about what Kennedy was going to say on stage.

    Kennedy told me once that Honda ‘Cog’ was his favorite Wieden spot ever. High praise indeed.

    I loved it when Wieden took me downstairs to see Kennedy’s office. It looked like a bombshell had hit it, but Wieden assured me that Kennedy knew where everything was.

    I hope his family know how many people he enabled and encouraged to find their voices. It is an incredible legacy.

    God bless you Kennedy.

    – T❤️

  2. Krisha Paz-Cabanayan

    I was a summer intern at W+K PDX in 2014. Though my time at W+K was short, I’ve found every story I’ve read this past week about David Kennedy to be true to what I’ve experienced during my summer at W+K.

    During orientation, I remember being casually told that the man who looked like a janitor is none other than David Kennedy himself, so don’t be afraid to say hi. So, the nervous wreck that I was, I asked for some coffee time with Kennedy. Since it was so long ago, I’m devastated I don’t remember much of our conversation. You know as they say – people don’t always remember what you say, but they’ll remember how you made them feel.

    I remember walking away from that conversation feeling that he was so down-to-earth, and I felt seen. I remember us sharing some laughter, and him not wanting to talk about *business*, but to talk about life and what it was like to be a part of W+K. I vaguely remember sharing that I was homesick while being in Portland, which he understood because he shared how much he loved his own home in Portland. I appreciated that he took the time to talk to me and really get to know me, and everyone else at the agency.

    All throughout college, prior to this internship, I’ve been taught about the prestigiousness of CEOs, co-founders, and leaders at agencies – and David Kennedy completely turned my perception on its head. He showed me, by example, what it was like to be a true force in this industry, and that it didn’t require the industry norm of mean pressure to succeed in advertising, but rather the complete opposite: love of people and love of his craft. He has so much heart, and I aspire to uphold that in this industry and beyond.

  3. Hallo there. My name is Viyerrah Patrick, A copywriter from Nairobi Kenya. I am here to pay homage to one of my greatest influencers of all time. I never met David nor have I ever seen him in person. When I heard that David Kennedy, had died, I started thinking of my death.

    Widen & Kennedy’s purpose and advertising approach made me realize there is more to what we do than brand propositions eccentricity. Their Legacy can be seen through the work that the agency has done over the years.

    Of things he inspired, the Kennedy’s is my favorite as it guarantees a life supply of people trained to think a certain way. I’ve never been in it but I know the impact it’s had on advertising in general where it’s been called to proper use.

    Acknowledging that CREATIVE THINKING is the most important skill for the 21st Century,
    we’ve started our creative incubation program called HOP-UP. It’s inspired by the Kennedy’s, Berlin school of creative leadership, Red&Yellow, and a leadership program called Kinara that’s run by Nairobi Chapel which I am an alumnus of.

    If the big agencies in Kenya had such creative incubation programs, I believe we’d create a more formidable and competitive advertising community that’s Creatively Led and Humanity Obsessed. Right now agencies just make money and win awards for work that barely impacted anything.

    It’s alright.

    Anyway, I may have never met David and may never achieve his legendary status, but if I could be half the human being he was, then I’ll have played my role on this earth well. His works have greatly influenced the way I work and the legacy I hope to leave when my time to pass comes: To do the best work of my life with inspiring clients…work that influences culture and builds business value.

    RIP MR. KENNEDY and thank you for who you were to all of us that you inspired the way you did.

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