CHICAGO: SSPR founder and CEO Steve Simon passed away on Sunday at the age of 67 after battling the organ disease amyloidosis.
"Simon remained actively involved in account management until a few days before he died," the firm said in a statement.
Jill Schmidt, SSPR president, who has worked with Simon for more than two decades, said she, as well as the entire SSPR family, is "extremely saddened by the loss of our founder."
"We're going to honor his legacy, which would be to continue to grow his business," she said, speaking on behalf of the firm's other president, Heather Kelly.
Simon started SSPR in 1978 in Chicago after working at local firms around the city. Before that, he got his start as press secretary for a former Memphis, Tennessee’s mayor.
According to the agency’s statement, Simon was behind some of SSPR's most recognized work. He also prioritized technology as many as three decades ago.
He is survived by his wife Linda, son Geoff, daughter Rachel, grandson Cyrus, and sister Judi, per the statement. The family is asking for donations to be made to the Anti-Cruelty Society of Chicago or another charity of choice in lieu of flowers.