Richard E. Meyer, 53, the former Jovan Perfume chairman who recently settled a libel lawsuit with a Chicago-based business publication. In 1988, Meyer sued for libel against Ad Age, a Crain Communications publication, after an article about his tenure as head of Jovan from 1977 to 1985. The article said Meyer was a regular cocaine user, had sniffed the drug at a management meeting and drank heavily. A jury last year ruled that the magazine did not libel Meyer. But that verdict was reversed in January by U.S. District Judge James B. Zagel, and the two parties agreed last month to an undisclosed settlement. Meyer, born into a poor family in a small Cincinnati suburb, graduated from the University of Michigan and opened an advertising agency in Chicago using a $50,000 loan. He sold the agency in 1974 after racking up $7.5 million in annual billings and joined Jovan, where sales quadrupled in five years under his direction. The company was sold in 1979 in a deal that netted Meyer $8.5 million. On Tuesday in a Chicago hospice after a lengthy battle with cancer.