Mort Libby 1937-2017

It is with great sadness that KLT shares the news that KLT Advisor, Mort Libby, died on Monday, May 15. Mort loved the land and Maine!  He was a founding member of KLT and he and Barbara have been long time summer residents of East Winthrop. Below is his obituary. 

Mort Libby, the founder of LPK, an international brand identity firm, passed away on May 15, 2017. Libby leveraged the buyout from Young and Rubicam which led to the formation of LPK in 1983.

"Mort created the company. But what's even more important, I believe, is that he created the culture that our company has embraced since our earliest days. Mort set the standard. He penned our Statement of Values, which he believed must serve as a compass for all our actions. He declared what we should expect of ourselves and each other," said Jerry Kathman, LPK Chairman of the Board.

Mort's management style was loose, inclusive and often funny. It was critical to him that every level of employee be protected with health insurance, which at the time was rare. LPK became one of the first employee-owned graphic design companies under his prompt. He believed in mentoring young talent, and his door was open to all, for career advice, a tissue and a hug, or to share a joke. New employees and co-ops were often surprised by an invitation to share a sandwich with the company president who genuinely sought their opinion.

Born in Liberty, Maine in 1937, he moved with his family to Millinocket where he grew to adulthood within sight of the lakes and woods of northern Maine and with Mt. Katahdin, the end of the Appalachian Trail, in view. Hiking, swimming, and snowshoeing in Maines deep winters were natural activities to him, as was his conservationism, and love of nature. He loved trees. He loved the woods, and the lakes and rivers and creatures within them.

He loved dogs and enjoyed their company throughout his life.

His career and personal life included a lot of travel. He had a Forest Gump-like quality about him which allowed him to play basketball with Pete Rose, regularly sit next to celebrities like Muhammed Ali on airplanes or at the symphony or be one of only 4,124 folks in attendance to see Wilt Chamberlain score 100 points in an NBA game on a quiet March night in Hershey, PA.

Mort was a founding member of the Kennebec Land Trust in Maine. He was on the Ohio board of The Nature Conservancy, and was named an Honorary Lifetime Trustee.

An athlete who enjoyed canoeing and skiing, as well as lunchtime basketball games at The Fenwick Club and The Cincinnati Athletic Club, he was also a runner with 13 marathons to his credit as well as a number of triathlons. At age 60, he and his sons shared portions of The Alcatraz Triathlon. He ran in the Cincinnati Heart Mini Marathon many times and the Flying Pig Marathon and served on the board of directors for both races.

Mort served in the Marine Corps, returning to the Rhode Island School of Design afterwards, where he studied under The Art Academy of Cincinnati graduate and accomplished designer Malcolm Greer. Mort received a lifetime achievement award from the Art Director's Club of Cincinnati.

Until his recent illness, Mort remained an active man, enjoying hiking vacations as well as summers in Maine, where he swam with his Labrador, Chip, and rowed in early mornings on Lake Cobbossee.

Mort Libby passed away from thyroid cancer. He is survived by his wife Barbara, his sons Daniel (Anne), Brent (Malissa), daughter Elizabeth Collado (Carlos), and grandchildren Benjamin, Hannah, Samuel, Savannah, Katherine, and Joseph.

He was eighty years old.


Friends may visit at T.P. White & Sons Funeral Home, 2050 Beechmont Ave., Mt. Washington, on Friday, May 19th from 4 to 7 pm. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Kennebec Land Trust, P.O. Box 261, Winthrop, ME 04364