NASHVILLE, TN: Mike Pigott, founding partner and senior counsel at McNeely Pigott & Fox, died on Monday after suffering cardiac arrest. He was 61 years old.
Pigott started his career at the now-defunct Nashville Banner daily newspaper. He worked there between 1976 and 1988, covering the ouster of Tennessee Governor Ray Blanton in 1979, the early swearing in of Lamar Alexander as governor, and several presidential campaigns.
For his work at the Nashville Banner, Pigott received the Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting and the United Press International Award for Investigative Reporting, among other accolades.
In 1988, he joined forces with Mark McNeely, and later David Fox – both former reporters he had worked with – to create the firm that is now known as McNeely Pigott & Fox.
"He was one of my best friends," said McNeely, founding and senior partner at McNeely Pigott & Fox. "It is very difficult today to work in a professional business with a friend, and we did that successfully and we are proud of that."
During his nearly 27 years at the firm, which employs more than 70 and has offices in Texas and Washington, DC, Pigott focused on client services, government relations, and research projects, according to his LinkedIn page.
While at the PR firm, he worked on projects such as the building of Nashville’s downtown arena, the Tennessee Titans’ move to Nashville, the Country Music Hall of Fame, as well as campaigns for mayors and governors. He also counseled clients including Nashville Electric Service, Skanska Construction, and the Southeast US/Japan Association.
Pigott also worked with nonprofit clients such as Hands on Nashville and Safe Haven, according to media reports.
McNeely Pigott & Fox tweeted a message about Pigott’s death on Tuesday.
We mourn the loss of our beloved partner, Mike Pigott. Thank you to all for the outpouring of love. pic.twitter.com/iLEzbQyilH— MPF Public Relations (@mpfpr) June 30, 2015
McNeely said Pigott’s legacy will be that he made a "true difference" to the Nashville community.
Pigott is a Cleveland native; he graduated from Purdue University.
He is survived by his wife Sharon McRedmond Pigott, as well as three daughters and one grandson.