Dan Edelman (1920 - 2013)
Photograph from Edelman, Inc.

The world learned on January 15, 2013 that our industry, the public relations industry, lost a true hero and founding father. I say and mean “the world” because Daniel Edelman’s reputation and reach extended well beyond the borders of our country. This one man PR powerhouse had a major impact on the global acceptance of the art and science of public relations throughout his long and distinguished career.

From a well-decorated tour of duty during World War II, to a three-person PR shop promoting hair products, Daniel Edelman oversaw the development of the largest public relations agency on the planet, and did it all as an independent entity. Wow.

They say he “retired” in 1996, but that’s not what I’ve been told. Up until very recently, Dan’s physical presence in the office inspired and enthused Edelman veterans and newcomers alike. I’m told that he knew change in our business was inevitable, and that technology and blink-of-an-eye news cycles meant constant and continuous tweaking of methodologies and approaches. He accepted this change, allowing his son Richard and other, equally brilliant business and communications professionals lead the next generation of Edelman service offerings.

His inspiration will live on, and the world is a richer place from his legacy. We honor and salute him and wish his family well in his departure.

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