The Unseen Power: Public Relations, a History

By Scott M. Cutlip | Go to book overview
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Chapter 5 Pendleton Dudley Starts Fifth Agency in 1909

When the public relations firm ( DAY) was dissolved into Ogilvy & Mather Public Relations on November 1, 1988, the longest lived public relations agency disappeared into the sands of time that enveloped the first four agencies started in the first decade of this century. The D in that firm name that dates from post-World War II stood for Pendleton Dudley, a venerable pioneer in this vocation. Dudley, at the urging of his friend Ivy Lee, opened the nation's fifth agency in 1909 in Wall Street.

[In its latter years, DAY had been owned by two sisters, Jean Way Schoonover and Barbara Hunter. They sold the agency to Ogilvy & Mather in 1983 in the decade of mega agency mergers and the internationalization of public relations services.]

The fifth public relations agency had its beginnings when a young Missourian, Pendleton Dudley, opened a publicity office in New York City's financial district. Over the next 5 years, Dudley, a rugged product of frontier, agricultural America, fashioned a profitable calling out of the complex communication and marketing needs of 20th century urban, industrial America. He saw publicity grow from an uncertain hand- to-mouth business into a large-scale enterprise, and he did much to infuse this new field with respectability.

Pendleton Dudley -- known to his close friends as Pen and to associates in his firm as PD -- was born on September 8, 1876, in the small, frontier town of Troy, Missouri, the first of four sons of Peter and Cornelia Pendleton Dudley, who had migrated to Missouri from Kentucky by wagon a few years before. The elder Dudley ran a general store in a town of some 800

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