'Empire Man' Elmer Lynn Hauldren dies at 89
Elmer Lynn Hauldren provided the voice of the "Empire Man" for nearly 40 years and became synonymous with the brand.
April 28th, 2011
12:45 PM ET

'Empire Man' Elmer Lynn Hauldren dies at 89

The man behind the memorable radio and TV jingle "5-8-8, 2-300, Empire!" has passed away.

Elmer Lynn Hauldren died Tuesday at his Evanston, Illinois, home, according to his family, the Chicago Tribune reports.

He was 89.

On Wednesday, the flooring company acknowledged the impact of his nearly 40-year career.

“Lynn was truly passionate about the Empire brand," Steve Silvers, Empire Today's CEO, said in a statement. "He has made an indelible mark on advertising history with his creativity and warmth."

Hauldren started working for Empire in the early 1970s after the company's owner requested him for TV spots, the company said. Soon, Hauldren would provide the voice of the "Empire Man" and become synonymous with the brand. He wrote and performed the jingle with the a capella group the Fabulous 40s.

Hauldren did more than voice-over work. He was also a member of the singing quartet Chordiac Arrest.

Hauldren was humble about his notoriety. According to the Tribune, he downplayed his fame: "People are good-natured," he said, "but once in a while they'll grab at you and say, 'Here's that carpet dude!' or 'Hey! Aren't you somebody?' I always hope folks understand I'm not a celebrity. I'm just a TV pitchman, a glorified salesman."

On the Web, users sent a stream of well wishes to Empire's Twitter and Facebook feed.

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Filed under: Illinois • U.S.
soundoff (13 Responses)

    the empire strikes back...

    April 28, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  2. banasy

    Lol, Ruffie!
    Seriously, I grew up on this man. They still show him, but in animated form.

    800-588-2300 Empire...today.

    April 28, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |

    i've never seen this guy but will look it up on you tube...

    the one we had around here in kansas city was 'ray adams' home of the 'desk smashing' good deals... they would show a big wrecking ball come down and smash the desk... i always loved that add..

    April 28, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  4. banasy

    I always thought that the Empire Dude was just a Chicago phenom...

    April 28, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Canadian Genious

    It looks like a job just opened up for Gilbert Gottfried.

    April 28, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  6. banasy


    April 28, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  7. banasy

    ....Thus guaranteeing that no one will buy carpeting from Empire again!

    April 28, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Cesar

    89? I'll be happy to hit 88.5.

    April 28, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Cesar


    April 28, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  10. banasy

    He didn't look a day over 75.

    April 28, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Canadian Genious

    My kids are scared of the animated version. Maybe it's the disproportionately huge head.

    April 28, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  12. VEG

    I remember him! And I see him almost every night!

    April 28, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  13. banasy

    You see dead people, VEG? Call Haley Joel Osmont; he has some tips for you!

    And I know what you mean, CG. Not to mention the glasses from 1968.

    April 28, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |