Artist, film producer, illustrator and personal designer Michael Gross died early this week at age 70. Gross, who was best known for designing the Ghostbusters logo, died at home in Oceanside, California on Monday.
Gross fought and beat cancer more than 30 years ago, but was told he had terminal cancer in 2014. Instead of choosing life-extending efforts, he chose instead to start his own anti-cancer campaign. He asked fellow artists to create works for the campaign, and even added his own work, including those featuring a hand with the middle finger sticking up. Under the hand, the words "Flip Cancer" are seen. It was his plan to auction off the work and donate the month to researchers working to treat and cure cancer.
Before designing the Ghostbusters logo, Gross was the art director for the magazine, National Lampoon, and in 1973, decided to place a controversial cover featuring a scared dog with a gun pointed to its head. Under the dog, the words "If You Don't Buy This Magazine, We'll Kill This Dog." Though it was a risk, in 2005, the American Society of Magazine Editors rated the cover as one of the top 40 of all time.
In 1984, Gross created the logo for the Ghostbusters film, a drawing of a confused ghost in the middle of a bright red circle with a line through it. This symbol was chosen as the most admired icon in 2012 by the Pratt Institute, and beat out the famous Chrysler Building.
In addition to his art, Gross was a well-known producer in Hollywood with films such as Kindergarten Cop, Twins and Ghostbusters under his belt.