SEATTLE: Allison+Partners MD David Mclean Marriott, who supported Amanda Knox during her four-year imprisonment in Italy, passed away on April 30.
Marriott advocated on Knox’s behalf while at Gogerty Marriott, which he cofounded in 1997, and worked to tell her side of the story. In 2009, Knox, then a 20 year-old exchange student in Perugia, was convicted for the murder and sexual assault of her roommate, Meredith Kercher. The next four years were marked by a series of legal proceedings and re-trials that ultimately resulted in the 2015 decision by Italy’s highest court of appeals overturning the charges.
In a 2015 blog post on MarketingImmortals.com, Marriott recalled finally meeting Knox upon her release: "When she stepped off a plane at Sea-Tac airport, [she] turned the corner and asked, ‘Are you David?’ It was an emotional moment for me."
Knox posted a tweet about Marriott’s death, earlier this month.
I'm so sad to hear of the passing of David Marriott, who stood by my family through the thick of it, and worked tirelessly to combat the character assassination of me playing out in the media. RIP my friend.— Amanda Marie Knox (@amamaknox) May 2, 2018
Marriott supported Alaska Airlines after the crash of flight 261 on January 31, 2000. But for two decades prior, he’d helped the airline form a crisis preparedness plan that was tested in the wake of the incident.
"The lesson: planning and preparation … planning and preparation … planning and preparation. Ben Franklin and Winston Churchill were right, ‘Failing to plan is planning to fail,’" Marriott wrote in his blog.
Marriott joined Allison+Partners in 2015 to head up the firm's reputation risk practice, after his long-time business partner, Bob Gogerty, died a year prior. Gogerty Marriott's clients included Boeing, Weyerhaeuser, ARCO, Seafirst, AT&T, and the Pickens Plan.
Allison + Partners CEO Scott Allison memorialized Marriott’s life in a blog post on Monday that fondly remembered him as a "true legend in the PR and crisis comms industries and a beloved member of the [agency’s] family."
"In addition to being one of the great communications professionals of our time, [Marriott] was a wonderful human being, a great father and husband, and a jazz loving gift to the local community as well as someone who donated so much time to so many people," Allison wrote.
Marriott is survived by his wife of 49 years, Helen; his three children, David, Thomas, and Rebecca; his daughter-in-law Lisa Chick; and three grandchildren, Frances, Samuel, and Napoleon.