Corbis, founded in 1989 by Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, the second biggest provider of archived news and advertising images, said yesterday it had acquired Roger Richman Agency, a licensing firm specialising in dead personalities including Elvis Presley, who reportedly still earns $40m (£21m) a year. It also represents Albert Einstein, the Marx brothers and Steve McQueen.
Demand for the use of dead celebrities has been on the rise, Corbis said. "It is an extremely attractive proposition for advertisers to tell a story using the strong emotive qualities of a famous personality or icon," Mr Shenk added.
According to Forbes magazine, Elvis Presley is the highest-paid dead celebrity with annual earnings of $40m, followed by Charles Schulz, the creator of the Peanuts comic strip, JRR Tolkien and John Lennon. Roger Richman, who began the business 27 years ago, will stay on as a consultant to help integrate the company.
Source: Google / Updated: Apr 7, 2005