The advertising executive and voice behind the character McGruff the Crime Dog has died.
John "Jack" Keil died on Aug. 25 at his home in Westminster West, Vermont, according to his family. Keil was 94.
Keil was an executive at an advertising agency when he and his team created the character in 1980 as a mascot for the National Crime Prevention Council.
NCPC is saddened to announce the passing of our friend, advertising giant, Jack Keil. Creator & the original voice of McGruff, Jack was 95.— NCPC (@McGruffatNCPC) September 5, 2017
"He was one of the giants in the advertising industry and shared his talents in support of crime prevention," the council said in an emailed statement to the Associated Press.
Since his creation, McGruff the Crime Dog has appeared in newspapers, and on the radio, television and the internet, encouraging Americans to get involved in crime prevention. Today, the character Keil created is still used for safety and crime prevention campaigns.
Beyond creating McGruff the Crime Dog, Keil worked on several other high-profile campaigns and wrote two books on creativity. He also enlisted in the Air Force during World War II and flew 50 missions over Europe.
Keil and his wife lived in New York for most of his career and moved to Vermont in 2006.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.