People we'll miss

The PR and media businesses lost giants in 2011. Here are some trailblazers who passed on this year that we'll remember.

The PR and media businesses lost giants in 2011. Here are some trailblazers who passed on this year that we'll remember.
 
Chester Burger
A pioneer in both communications and TV news, he formed Chester Burger & Co. in 1964 and also served as a TV news reporter and editor for CBS, starting in 1946. He also wrote five books on the executive life. Burger died at age 90 last March.
 
Jack Daly
The SVP of corporate relations and CCO of McDonald's Corporation was remembered by the company's CEO for helping to guide the fast-food brand “through some of our greatest successes and most difficult challenges.” He was a member of PRWeek's Power List in 2008 and 2009. A battle with cancer ended his life at age 62 last February.

Ofield Dukes
Few did as much to support diversity in the PR industry as Dukes, who died in December after a battle with bone cancer. “Had it not been for Ofield carrying the message of the importance of ethnic diversity, many of us in PR would have either been too afraid or not passionate enough to speak up,” said Rosanna Fiske, chair and CEO of the Public Relations Society of America. Dukes died earlier this month at age 79.
 
Steve Jobs
While not a communications professional or media member per se, Jobs did as much to influence those industries as anyone in recent memory – to say nothing of his legendary involvement shaping the messages of Apple and Pixar. Jobs often pitched his own stories to prominent outlets, such as Time. His death in October at age 56 was recognized around the globe.
 
Howard Paster
Paster led WPP Group's PR division, which included Burson-Marsteller, Hill & Knowlton, Ogilvy PR Worldwide, and Cohn & Wolfe, until his August death at the age of 66. He also served as the chairman and CEO of H&K from 1994 to 2002.

Ted Pincus
Founder of The Financial Relations Board, Pincus sold the company for $40 million to True North Communications in 2000, later serving as a consultant to Interpublic Group. He later joined StevensGouldPincus, which rebranded three years later as Stevens Gould Pincus. He died in September at age 78 after a battle with multiple myeloma.
 
Andy Rooney
Rooney was a true media giant, serving as a mainstay on 60 Minutes since 1978. His commentaries on everyday life – his first segment was on the subject of July 4 traffic – found a soft spot in viewers' lives that they looked forward to every week. His death at age 92 in November came only a month after he announced he would stop appearing on the show on a regular basis.

John MacLeod Williams
Williams was instrumental in PR Newswire's expansion into China. “He was always trying to raise the bar, both for our business and for the PR industry in general,” said PR Newswire EVP Ken Dowell, who worked with Williams for two decades. “He focused on online when the rest of the industry was counting press clips.” His sudden death at age 66 in November saddened the industry.

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