Remembering: Dan Edelman (1920-2013)
You always knew when Dan Edelman came to our offices. He was larger than life, colorful, a wonderfully warm person and a tremendous story-teller. He, of course, was head of the firm that bears his name and one that has grown into the largest independent public relations firm in the business today.
I first met Dan some 26 years ago while I was with Bacon’s (now Cision) in Chicago. Dan and the late Robert H. Bacon, Jr., were industry pioneers. Dan Edelman, Al Golin and Harold Burson would often be invited to visit Bacon’s to review the new PR products we’d be developing. My first product ‘pitch’ meeting with Dan was the Bacon’s Editorial Calendar Directory (the first ed cal product, released in the ’80s.)
I never forgot our first meeting. There’s a certain quality that most visionaries possess that leaves an indelible impression and Dan had it and more. He founded his firm in 1952 and, like so many founders, had a unique vision for how things should be done. His impact on our industry is still being felt to this day given his agency’s many creative and highly memorable campaigns for, among others, Colonel Sanders and Morris the Cat, as well as for pioneering such tactics as the media tour. As a result of his unique vision, his firm became a powerhouse within the industry.
Dan Edelman was part of a group of practitioners that made up the “Greatest Generation in PR,” which includes such luminaries as Harold Burson, Al Golin and David Finn. Pioneers, rather than settlers, they blazed the trail for others to follow. Dan will be missed; however, he leaves behind a rich legacy and a great example for those yet to come.
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