Olson's career began in 1956 when he became West Coast editor of the motion picture exhibitor trade magazine Boxoffice. Following his tenure there, he spent six and a half years as an entertainment critic and reporter, becoming drama critic for Variety and helping form the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle.
He left that organization when he became Publicity Director for independent film company The Mirisch Corporation, and later became an executive at public relations firm Rogers & Cowan, Inc., where he eventually served as Senior Vice President of the Motion Picture Division. He spearheaded campaigns for such films as Rocky, Superman, and the Halloween series.
As a personal publicist, Olson's clients included Shirley MacLaine, Gene Kelly, Doris Roberts, Clint Eastwood, Laurence Olivier, Robert Blake, Marilyn Monroe, and Rock Hudson. He served as a Trustee on the Executive Committee for the Actors Fund.
Olson is survived by his spouse of 30 years, Eugene Harbin. Services and memorials will be scheduled for the near future.