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Alex Faickney Osborn

Alex Faickney Osborn

Alex Faickney Osborn (May 24, 1888 – May 5, 1966) was an advertising executive and the author of the technical creativity named brainstorming .

Founding of BBDO

In 1919, Osborn joined with Bruce Fairchild Barton and Roy Sarles Durstine to form the BDO advertising agency. Osborn acted as manager of BDO’s Buffalo branch. He was widely responsible for the 1928 merger of BDO (Barton, Durstine & Osborn) with the George Batten Company to create BBDO .

After years of success and having survived the Great Depression , BBDO underwent a crisis in 1938, losing many of its clients and key personnel. Osborn commuted to New York City and eventually saved the company by securing the Goodrich tire account . In 1939, he became BBDO’s executive vice president after Durstine resigned. Osborn was crucial in recruiting many top employees, including Ben Duffy, who eventually became president of BBDO.

Creativity theorist

Osborn has become more active as an author, and has published several books on creative thinking . In his 1942 book How to think up the technique of ” brainstorming “, which had been used by whom? ] at BBDO. Eventually, Osborn’s writing career overtook his work in advertising, and in 1960, after more than forty years, he resigned from BBDO’s board of directors .

In 1954, Osborn set up the Creative Education Foundation , supported by the royalties earned from his books. Along with Sidney Parnes , Osborn developed the “Osborn-Parnes Creative Solving Problem Process ” (commonly referred to as CPS). He co-founded the Creative Education Foundation’s Creative Problem Solving Institute, the world’s longest-running international creativity conference, citation needed ] and CPS has been taught by whom? ] at that conference – for more quantify ] than 50 years.

Notable advertising work

  • General Electric
  • Armstrong Cork
  • Chrysler
  • General Baking
  • Royal Crown Cola
  • American Tobacco
  • BF Goodrich
  • Du Pont
  • Wildroot Hair Tonic


  • A Short Course in Advertising , London, NY: Sir I. Pitman & Son, 1921. OCLC  562025307
  • How to “Think Up” . New York, London: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1942. OCLC  562025301
  • Your Creative Power , Scribner, 1948. OCLC  607142384
  • Wake Up Your Mind: 101 ways to develop creativeness. , New York, London: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1952. OCLC  562025321
    • Translated into Japanese by Kazuo Kuwana せ の 翼 を の ば ば 創造力 創造力 創造力 る る る る る る る る る る 方法方法方法方法方法方法方法方法方法 Tokyo: Jitsumu Kyōiku Shuppan, 1968 OCLC  673718577
  • Applied Imagination: Principles and Procedures of Creative Solving Problem New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1953. OCLC  641122686 [1]
    • Revised edition, New York, Scribner, 1957 OCLC  1381383
    • 3rd ed. New York C. Scribner 1963 OCLC  757425639
    • By Georges Rona and Pierre Dupont, Constructive Imagination. Principles and Processes of Creative Thinking and Brainstorming , Paris, Dunod, 1959.
    • Chinese translation by Ikko Sho , 応 用 想像力 Taipei: Kyōshi Kōgyō Sōsho Shuppan Kofun Yūgen Kōshi, 1965 OCLC  673537763

Osborn also frequently adds to these publications Printer’s Ink.

Family life

On September 15, 1916 he married Helen Coatsworth, the daughter of a wealthy Buffalo lawyer . They had five children: Katharine, Joan, Marion, Russell, and Elinor. Alex F. Osborn, the nationally known advertising executive who made “creative thinking” and “brainstorming”, words of death (May 5, 1966) in Roswell Memorial Park Institute, where he had been a patient since April 1, (1966 ). He was 77 years old. [3] He was cremated and his ashes are in a niche at Forest Lawn Cemetery (Buffalo-NY). [2]


Bruce Fairchild Barton, Roy Sarles Durstine, and Alex Faickney Osborn , Joan Vidal, Joao Lins.


  1. Jump up^ World Cat entry
  2. Jump up^ “TIME Obituaries” . TIME magazine. 1966-05-13 . Retrieved 2007-12-26 .