NEW YORK: Longtime Hill & Knowlton executive and media relations pioneer George Glazer died on November 22 of a heart attack at his home in Palm Beach County, Florida. He was 86.
Glazer spent nearly three decades as an executive at Hill & Knowlton, working with clients including legendary anchor Walter Cronkite and 60 Minutes founder and executive producer Don Hewitt. He left the firm in 1998 to go into business with his son, Bryan, creating World Satellite Television News, a boutique agency focused on broadcast media relations.
"George was a bigger-than-life PR executive who, as head of the broadcast group at Hill & Knowlton, knew more about broadcast public relations than anyone practice in the field at the time," said Peter Himler, founder of Flatiron Communications, who called Glazer his "first boss in my first global agency assignment" at H&K. "His many relationships in the TV news business were unsurpassed."
Over the course of a career of more than five decades, Glazer worked with clients including former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, hotel mogul Bill Marriott, JetBlue founder David Neeleman, and singers Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson, according to a statement from his son and business partner. He also worked on historic events, such as the 1973 Arab oil embargo on behalf of the world’s major oil companies and managing the international press center at the 1986 summit between President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in Reykjavik, Iceland.
"George really was a true pioneer in broadcast and satellite services, which was an early foundation for the rich video and digital content so central to our industry today," said Tom Hoog, global vice chairman at Hill+Knowlton Strategies and president and CEO of H+K U.S. from 1996 to 2001. "I always envied the contacts, but more so the respect, he had earned within the world of media. He was one of PR’s media greats."
Prior to joining H&K, Glazer was a TV news reporter at WCAU, CBS’ affiliate in Philadelphia, and served in the U.S. Army.
He is survived by his wife, Mina; son, Bryan; daughter Marjorie Edelstein; and son-in-law, Steve Edelstein.
Funeral services will take place on December 4 at Beth Israel Memorial Chapel in Boynton Beach, Florida, with burial scheduled for the following day.
This story was updated on November 30 with quotes from Hoog.