MINNEAPOLIS: Dennis McGrath, known for building the Twin Cities’ PR industry, died on May 12 at the age of 81 after a battle with cancer.
McGrath was a founder of the firm Mona Meyer McGrath & Gavin, which was acquired by Weber Shandwick. He stayed on as president and CEO of the office in Minneapolis before leaving to work at Weber’s New York and Tokyo locations, according to his LinkedIn profile.
McGrath left Weber to start another firm, McGrath-Buckley Communications Counseling. He also worked as communications director for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. McGrath most recently worked as senior adviser at Minneapolis communications firm Himle Rapp & Company before retiring in 2017.
In accounts from friends and colleagues, McGrath was described as a gregarious raconteur with an infinite circle of acquaintances and an eye for a well-tailored suit. In its obituary of McGrath, the Minneapolis Star Tribune described him as an adviser with integrity, loyal but willing to offer unpopular advice and address difficult subjects.
McGrath represented the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis while it faced accusations of sexual abuse by members of the clergy. In its obituary, the Star Tribune quoted its reporter, Pam Miller, about how he helped her cover the scandal.
"Off the record, he would give me information that would lead me toward the right people and the right answers," Miller said. "Personally, he was deeply troubled by the abuse cover up in the church he loved so much."