NEW YORK: Marilyn Laurie, former EVP of PR and brand management at AT&T and past president of the Arthur W. Page Society and the PR Seminar, died at her home in Manhattan on July 14. She was 71 and had been battling brain cancer for the past year.
In 1971, Laurie joined AT&T to create employee environmental education programs. By 1987, she was the first woman to join AT&T's 10-person executive committee, directing external and internal communications. She retired in 1998.
“It's not an exaggeration to say she was really one of the giants of PR,” said Dick Martin, formerly EVP of PR, employee communications, and brand management, who succeeded Laurie at AT&T. “She was the first woman to head up PR for a company the size of AT&T, and she counseled executives and CEOs from Jim Olson to Bob Allen to Mike Armstrong. She's gotten every award you can imagine.”
Laurie is also known for her communications work contributing to the launch of Earth Day.
She is survived by husband Robert Laurie, sister Lois Schauber, daughters Amy Laurie and Lisa Pott, as well as grandchildren Andrew and Jessica Kovac and Julia Pott. A memorial service is planned for September.