William Ruder passes away

NEW YORK: William Ruder, co-founder of Ruder Finn, died February 22. He was 89.

NEW YORK: William Ruder, co-founder of Ruder Finn, died February 22. He was 89.

Ruder and David Finn founded Ruder Finn, which was then called Art in Industry, in 1948. 

David Finn, chairman of Ruder Finn, said in a statement: “As a colleague, I knew Bill as a consummate businessman, with the ability to shake every hand in the room without making anyone feel slighted. As a friend, I knew him as an Eagle Scout and an incredibly passionate advocate for ideas and truth. His wisdom and insight will always be cherished.”

Ruder later served as assistant secretary of PR for the US Department of Commerce during the Kennedy Administration.

He left Ruder Finn in 1981 to start his own consulting firm, but remained an active member of the agency's board until his death. He also served on a number of committees, including the communications advisory board to the White House Press Secretary and as chairman of the communications task force for United Way of America.

Ruder Finn is now a global PR firm that reported $89 million in revenue in 2009. It is still privately-held.

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