Jack O’Dwyer, the former newspaperman who started his own company and became the foremost chronicler of the PR industry, passed away on Dec. 19 at the age of 85 from chronic long disease.
He founded the weekly Jack O’Dwyer’s Newsletter 50 years ago and published a closely watched ranking of independent p.r. firms. His son John, who took over as publisher of the now-digital Jack O’Dwyer’s News several years ago, said his father had been the ad columnist at the Journal American when it folded in 1968. “He realized plenty of people were covering advertising but nobody was covering the p.r. industry,” recalled John, of his dad’s start.
“Respected and sometimes feared by leaders in the p.r. business, O’Dwyer took pride in his role as an old-school reporter dedicated to chasing down stories and revealing the good and bad of p.r.,” wrote Kevin McCauley, the longtime editor of O’Dwyer’s publications.
A funeral Mass was celebrated at Immaculate Conception in Westhampton on Dec. 26. Plans for a memorial service to be held in New York City sometime in January have not yet been finalized, John O’Dwyer said.
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