1998 Alexander Hamilton Medal Winner
Chester Burger & Company
Burger spent most of his 48-year working career in the communications field, establishing many firsts. He retired in 1988 from Chester Burger & Co., Inc., the nation’s first communications management consulting firm. In 1995, the U. S. Government awarded him the Medal For Outstanding Service to the United States.
Burger joined the Columbia Broadcasting System in 1941 as a Page Boy, and left in 1955 as National Manager of CBS Television News. During World War II, he served in the U. S. Army Air Corps. After V-J Day, the Army assigned him to experiment with newly-developed television. He produced the Army’s first TV broadcasts.
He returned to CBS as a visualizer, and developed methods for reporting world news on TV news broadcasts then beginning. In April 1946, he became the nation’s first television news reporter. He was first president of the Radio-Newsreel-Television Working Press Association of New York.
During the years of the civil rights campaigns, Burger served the National Urban League as an officer and member of its Board of Trustees. He was a founder of the Black Executive Exchange Program, and received the Outstanding Mentor Award for 21 years of counsel and support to minorities in public relations. The United Negro College Fund awarded him its Distinguished Service Citation. He is a Life Member of the NAACP.
The United States Information Agency presented Burger with its Award for Outstanding Service to America public diplomacy efforts. The Public Relations Society of America gave its highest award, the Gold Anvil, and its Counselors Academy designated him The Counselors Counselor. The United States Marine Corps awarded him its first Drew Middleton Public Affairs Award for Distinguished Service.
He is the author of six books on management subjects, including The Chief Executive. His lifetime work in photography was acquired for the permanent collections of the New York Historical Society and the New York Public Library. His lifetime papers are in The Center for American History at the University of Texas in Austin.