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Harold Burson
  • Founder and Chairman
  • Burson-Marsteller

Harold Burson, in a survey conducted by PRWeek, was described as “the century’s most influential PR figure.” This culminated more than fifty years as counselor to and confidante of corporate CEOs, government leaders and heads of public sector institutions.
In 1953, Harold Burson co-founded Burson-Marsteller, one of world’s largest public relations agencies — and developed concept of integrated marketing which became an industry standard.
Harold has held such positions as Presidential appointee to Fine Arts Commission, Washington (1981-85); Chairman, Economic Education Council; trustee, Economics Club of New York; Chairman, USIA Public Relations Advisory Committee 1985-1992); board member, World Wildlife Fund (Geneva). He was elected to Horatio Alger Society (1986).
Harold was founder of Kennedy Center Corporate Fund, Washington, and director of Kennedy Center Productions; member of New York Society of Security Analysts, New York Academy of Medicine ( first lay person member), Advisory Board of New York Academy of Sciences and Business Council for International Understanding. He was Chairman of Public Relations Seminar in 1984.
He has received such honors and awards as PRSA Gold Anvil (1980); Arthur W. Page Society Hall of Fame (1991; Professional of Year by Public Relations News (1977/1989); Institute of Public Relations Alexander Hamilton Medal (1999); Columbia University School of Medicine Athena Medal (2000); PRSA Atlas Award for International Achievement (1998); John W. Hill Award for Leadership from PRSA New York Chapter (1993), and was First Executive-in-Residence at University of Kentucky, College of Communications (2000). He received PRSA Paladin Award. (2012).
A chair in public relations at Boston University bears his name and he received Doctor of Humane Letters (hon.) degree in 1988. He graduated from University of Mississippi and elected to Alumni Hall of Fame (1986). World War II veteran servicing as a combat engineer in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. As Army news correspondent for American Forces Network, he covered Nuremberg Trial of leading Nazi war criminals.
“The architect of the largest public relations agency in the world today, Harold Burson’s contribution is immense in many other ways besides. He started practicing the concept of integrated marketing decades before the term was even invented. His development of training programs set the benchmark that other agencies have only recently caught up with. His mentoring of talent has spawned a whole wave of ex-Burson PR agency start-ups. He created a unique Burson culture that still unites former employees.”
– PRWeek

Feb 19

How Big Is a Trillion?

Harold Burson

Harold Burson Burson-Marsteller Some of us can still remember when a billion was a big number. (I recall President Lyndon Johnson’s reluctance to present a $100 billion budget to the Congress in the mid-60s.) Nowadays a billion dollars...

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