Emmett McBain (1935-2012) grew up in Chicago and attended Sexton Elementary School and Tilden Technical High School. He then studied advertising design at Ray Vogue Art School, American Academy of Art, and the Illinois Institute of Technology. McBain became a prominent African American advertising designer, working as a designer for Vince Cullers and Associates, an art supervisor for J. W. Thompson in Detroit, and a creative consultant for Soft Sheen Products. In 1971 he opened Burell McBain advertising with his business partner Thomas Burell. The agency worked with many major companies including McDonald's, Philip Morris, and Coca-Cola. In 1974 Emmett McBain left the agency to pursue a career in art.
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