Michael Polakovs, better known as Coco the Clown, died over the weekend at a hospital in Kentucky.
McDonald's Corporation hired Polakovs in 1966, and he designed the outfit and makeup that is still worn by the character today. He appeared in the first eight TV commercials featuring Ronald McDonald.
Polakovs also performed in the Ringling Brother Barnum and Bailey Circus, and became the circus' advance clown, traveling the country.
He was a second generation circus clown, born in Latvia.