Elmer Lynn Hauldren created the Empire Man character and wrote the carpet company's nationally recognized jingle, which made a lasting imprint of a phone number: "5-8-8, 2-300, Empire!"
Mr. Hauldren, 89, died Tuesday, April 26, of natural causes in his Evanston home, according to family.
"He has made an indelible mark on advertising history with his creativity and warmth," Steve Silvers, chief executive officer of Northlake-based Empire, said in a statement.
Empire's former owner, Seymour Cohen, hired Mr. Hauldren as the on-air talent for commercials in 1973 after dozens of actors auditioned for the role. Mr. Hauldren created the Empire Man and also wrote and sang the jingle in the commercials along with the a capella group The Fabulous 40s.