Don Belding’s notable advertising career was based in the West Coast where he began his career as an unpaid office boy in the Los Angeles office of Lord & Thomas. He quickly rose through the agency, becoming copywriter, account manager, and finally, in 1938, manager of the Los Angeles office. In 1942 Belding joined with Emerson Foote and Fairfax Cone to buy Lord & Thomas from Albert Lasker, founding Foote, Cone & Belding. He took charge of West Coast operations, also serving as the chairman of the board from 1943 to 1951 and as chairman of the executive committee from 1951 until his retirement in 1957. In 1951 when Emerson Foote resigned, Belding assumed responsibility for New York operations.
In addition to his work with FCB, Belding dedicated much of his time to the advertising industry. He was a two-term president of the Advertising Association of the West and helped to organize the War Advertising Council in 1942. He personally directed the history-making campaign on forest fire prevention.
In 1967 the Advertising Club of Los Angeles instituted the Annual Don Belding Awards for outstanding Creativity to commemorate his significant contributions to the industry on the West Coast.
In 1957 Belding choose early retirement from Foote, Cone & Belding to devote his time and energy to public service where he continued his considerable contributions to his community and his country.