A successful retailer who held the copyright for the iconic smiley face has died.
Bernard Spain died Wednesday January 6th 2021 of congestive heart failure at his home in Philadelphia.
Spain and his brother Murray sold 50 million buttons with the yellow smiley face after obtaining the copyright in 1971.
He later gave Walmart permission to use the smiley face.
Before that, Spain started a gift card company in the 1960’s and founded Dollar Express in the 1990’s.
He grew the discount store chain to more than 100 locations.
In 2000, Spain sold the chain and his gift card company to Dollar Tree for 300-million-dollars.
Bernard Spain was 86.
FILE – A smiley face balloon floats over Revere Beach in Revere, Mass. as beachgoers head for the water on Sunday, July 16, 2006. According to a report released in December 2013 from the National Academy of Sciences, which advises the U.S. government, by gauging happiness, there’d be more to consider than cold hard cash when deciding matters that affect daily lives. The panel of economists, psychologists and other experts assembled by the academy recommended that federal statistics and surveys, which normally deal with income, spending, health and housing, should include a few extra questions on happiness. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)