Harvey Ball was an American commercial artist. He is recognized as the earliest known designer of the smiley, which became an enduring and notable international icon. So lets check out some awesome facts about the founder of World Smile Day!
1. His full name was Harvey Ross Ball.
2. He was born on July 10, 1921.
3. He died on April 12, 2001.
4. Ball was born and raised in Worcester, Massachusetts.
5. During his time as a student at Worcester South High School, he became an apprentice to a local sign painter.
6. He later attended the Worcester Art Museum School, where he studied fine arts.
7. World Smile Day is dedicated to the smiley face, which was created by Harvey Ball in 1963.
8. He came up with the idea for World Smile Day, which was first held in 1999.
9. The foundation’s goal in raising awareness for World Smile Day is to “encourage smiles and acts of kindness around the world”.
10. The foundation also raises money to support children’s causes.
11. Ball was based in Asia and the Pacific during World War II.
12. He was awarded the Bronze Star for heroism during the Battle of Okinawa.
13. He served 27 years in the National Guard and retired as a brigadier general in 1973.
14. Then he served six years in the Army Reserves.
15. He retired as a full colonel in 1979.
16. Ball was awarded the Veteran of the Year award from the Worcester Veterans Council in 1999.
17. After World War II, Ball worked for a local advertising firm.
18. Shortly after, he started his own business, Harvey Ball Advertising, in 1959
19. In 1963 he was employed as a freelance artist, to come up with an image to increase morale.
20. In less than ten minutes, Harvey Ball came up with the simple yet world-changing smiley face.
21. He was paid $45 for his creation.
22. The use of the smiley face became part of the company’s friendship campaign whereby State Mutual handed out 100 smiley pins to employees with the goal of getting the employees to smile while using the phone and doing other tasks.
23. More than 50 million smiley face buttons had been sold by 1971, and the smiley has been described as an international icon.
24. Ball never applied for a trademark or copyright of the smiley.
25. His son Charles said that his father never regretted that decision.
26. The phrase “Have a happy day” became associated with the Smiley although it was not part of Ball’s original design.
27. The Smiley was introduced to France in 1972 as a signal of a good news story in the newspaper France Soir.
28. The BBC broadcast a radio documentary on 4 February 2012 called Smiley’s People that covered the story of the smiley.
29. On July 18, 1998, around the 35th anniversary of the design’s inception, Ball appeared at That’s Entertainment to meet fans and sign smiley pins and art.
30. He was then shown a copy of the graphic novel Watchmen issue #1, which featured a notorious image of a smiley face with a splatter of blood across it. He was profoundly amused by it.
31. An authentic Harvey Ball smiley face can always be identified by three distinguishing features: Narrow oval eyes, with the right one larger than the left, bright sunny yellow, and a slightly off center mouth, which has been attributed to being similar to a “Mona Lisa Mouth”.
32. World Smile Day raises money for the Harvey Ball World Smile Foundation, a non-profit charitable trust that supports children’s causes.
33. He passed away due to liver failure.