WASHINGTON: Jody Powell, chairman and founder of Powell Tate and press secretary to former President Jimmy Carter, died September 14 of a heart attack just shy of his 66th birthday.
On the agency's Web site, Weber Shandwick CEO Harris Diamond wrote that his colleagues are "devastated" by the loss. Powell Tate, which specializes in public affairs, is part of Weber.
Powell's role as press secretary to President Carter was much heralded. As The New York Times writes, "Mr. Powell's official White House title was press secretary to Mr. Carter, but he was much more than that. Unlike many White House spokesmen, Mr. Powell really did have his boss's ear and really was privy to his boss's thinking."
Powell began working with Carter, then a gubernatorial candidate in 1970, before serving him in the White House, according to the firm's Web site. It was there that Rolling Stone featured Powell and Hamilton Jordan, Carter's chief of staff, on the cover, calling them the "White House Whiz Kids."
He later held the post of chairman and CEO for Powell Adams & Rinehart, which was formerly known as Ogilvy & Mather Public Affairs, and partnered with Sheila Tate, former press secretary to first lady Nancy Reagan, to found Powell Tate.
He is survived by his wife Nan and daughter Emily.