Sunday, May 07, 2006, 10:06 PM
Painter and illustrator Don Altobell, whose talents as an artist led him to camaraderie with Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack in the early 1960s, died Sunday, May 7, at his home in Maple Shade, New Jersey, after fighting multiple sclerosis for more than 40 years.
Mr. Altobell was born in Philadelphia in 1938 to the late Paul and Anna Altobell. During his teen years, he was a body builder and frequent dancer on the original Bandstand television show. Following his graduation as an art major from Mastbaum Vocational School, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, from which he was honorably discharged. In 1959 he embarked on a career in advertising, beginning at N.W. Ayer, where he worked on accounts including AT&T, Sealtest, and Atlantic Refining (now ARCO). He was also a copywriter and media buyer at other local agencies and an account executive at radio station WRCP, before his MS-imposed retirement in 1972.