Donald Featherstone Dead: Pink Flamingo Creator Passes Aged 79

Artist Donald Featherstone, who invented the plastic pink flamingo lawn ornament, has died at age of 79 in Fitchburg, Massachusetts.

Featherstone created the plastic pink flamingo back in 1957 while he was working for Union Products. This product went on sale in 1958, and the product continued to rise in popularity over the years.

Featherstone’s wife Nancy confirmed to the Associated Press, via US News, on Tuesday that Donald Featherstone had died on Monday. Featherstone had been battling Lewy body dementia for a long period, and he passed at an elder care facility in Fitchburg, Massachusetts.

Speaking about Featherstone, Leominster Mayor Dean Mazzarella told the Telegram that he was a “local classic.”

Before his employment with Union Products, Donald Featherstone studied at art school at Worcester Art Museum. He was then immediately recruited by Union Products, which is based in Leominster, and throughout his prolific career, he created 750 items for them. He was also appointed president of Union Products in 1996 too, which he held until 2000.

Because of his work, Featherstone was awarded the Ig Nobel Prize in art in 1996, which is given to honor unusual or trivial excellence in scientific research and is a light riffing on the Nobel Prize.

Featherstone went to great lengths to create his pieces. One of the first sculptures he was asked to make was a duck, and before he sculpted it, he purchased a duck, which he named Charlie, and then, once he’d completed his work, he released it.

Meanwhile, back in 2013, Donald and Nancy Featherstone hit the news again after it was revealed that for the last 35 years, the pair have worn matching outfits. This means that they had over 600 matching outfits, and even when they were not in the same city, they spoke to make sure that they were still coordinating.

Donald and Nancy Featherstone had been married for over 40 years. And, as well as Nancy, Donald is survived by two children, four grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren.

[Photo by Joe Raedle / Getty Images]