Agency pays tribute to ‘leader and innovator’ following passing of Daniel Edelman


By Ishbel Macleod, PR and social media consultant

January 15, 2013 | 2 min read

Edelman London has paid tribute to founder Daniel Edelman, who has died in hospital today, aged 92, from heart failure.

Describing Edelman as a ‘leader and innovator’, the agency paid its respect in an obituary to the man who became one of the first to use a celebrity in a PR campaign by retaining movie star Vincent Price as a spokesperson for the California wine industry in 1966.

Edelman began his career in journalism, working as a sports editor and reporter for Poughkeepsie, a NY newspaper, before being drafted into the Army in 1942, where he was introduced to the world of PR and wrote analysis of German propaganda.

On returning home, he took his first PR role as publicist at Musicraft Records, before becoming PR director of home hair care manufacturer Toni.

After four years, Edelman decided to start his own public relations company, with Toni and Sara Lee becoming his first clients.

In the obituary, the agency said: “One of Edelman’s greatest successes has been the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line, the first free consumer hotline which he created in 1981. Today, the Talk-Line fields more than 100,000 calls every year during the eight-week holiday season.

“Other high-profile campaigns for which Edelman was responsible included building support in Congress and the media for Maya Lin’s design for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall; helping Advil make the switch from prescription-only to over-the-counter; aiding CBS in winning its lawsuit with Gen. William C. Westmoreland; and the launch of Microsoft’s Xbox.”

Daniel is survived by wife Ruth Ann Rozumoff Edelman, a mental health advocate and member of the firm’s board of directors; daughter Renee, an Edelman senior vice president; son John, the managing director of Edelman’s Global Engagement and Corporate Social Responsibility initiative; and three granddaughters, Margot, Tory and Amanda Edelman.


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