Donald Featherstone, designer of the pink plastic lawn flamingo, has died Monday. He was 79 years old. According to Featherstone's wife, Donald was battling Lewy body dementia.

He got his start designing products at the Union Products Plastics Company in Leominster, Massachussetts. He reportededly spent 43 years with Union Plastics.

He was inspired to create the plastic icon by a photograph of a flamingo in National Geographic in 1957.

In an interview with Leominster Champion, he talks about how he got his start. After being asked to design a plastic duck, he went to find inspiration for a flamingo. "You can't go locally and buy a flamingo, so I got some books, and one that had some good shots was National Geographic. I made the silhouette, then put on the clay and that's how it all got started," he said.

In 2013, Nancy Featherstone told The Guardian that she and her husband liked to wear matching outfits. For 35 years they shared a wardrobe, which began with tops, and then moved to a sequence of matching bottoms.

Cover image: Flickr