Graphic Artist/Art Director William S. Fleishell, Jr.
(Big Daddy), 88, a native of Washington DC, died of
cancer at his home on Tuesday, August 3, 2010. Bill was born
in Washington, DC, and his family was among the first settlers
on what is now called Capitol Hill.
He grew up in an extended family of printers on the "Hill" and was in the
graduating class of 1939 at old Central High school - now Cardoza High
Mr. Fleishell was the Art Director for the Republican National Committee
(RNC), a job he held for 30 years, beginning with the Eisenhower
administration in 1959. In 1970 he designed the current Republican elephant
logo, which is still in use by the RNC. His graphic designs were used for the
Freedom Train in 1976; his cartoons were published in Time Magazine; and
his designs and cartoons are in at least four Presidential libraries and the
Mr. Fleishell retired from the RNC in 1989, and continued to work as a
freelance artist and master calligrapher until his death. During World War II,
he trained as a Navy pilot then transferred to work as a Navy Salvage Diver
on Navy Pier 88 in New York due to a critical needs shortage for divers and
submariners. He attended divers school where he was rated as an underwater
metal smith/welder and later dove on the French ship Normandy to help
salvage the French liner for conversion into a troop transport in New York
Harbor. During this time, he and two fellow Navy Divers ran the art shop on
Pier 88 in New York City and Bill painted numerous murals for the Navy War
bond drive and co-founded The Descending Line, one of the earliest diving
periodicals in the world still in print. Injuries sustained in these extremely
dangerous diving operations caused Bill to be hospitalized for 2 years in a
Veteran's hospital until the war ended in 1945. After the war, Bill attended the
University of Iowa and George Washington University and then trained as a
professional artist graduating from the University of Pennsylvania's
Philadelphia Museum School of Art. He worked as an artist for the
Washington Times Herald, the Evening Star and as an associate art director
and partner in the Gordon Manchester Advertising Agency before beginning
his career with the RNC.
His beloved wife of 45 years, Isabelle Duffy, predeceased him in 1998.
Survivors include three children, Kathleen A. Gibb of Oklahoma, Sheila M.
Fleishell and William S. Fleishell, III, of Washington, DC; his devoted
grandchildren John J. Myers and William B. Gibb of Washington, DC, and
David S. Gibb and Olivia A. Gibb of Oklahoma; his loving brother Captain
James L. Fleishell, USGS (Ret) of Connecticut; and numerous relatives and
Published in Washington Times from August 10 to September 8, 2010