2002 Alexander Hamilton Medal Winner
Daniel J. Edelman
Daniel J. Edelman is founder and Chairman of Daniel J. Edelman, Inc., parent company of Edelman Public Relations Worldwide; PR 21; Strategy One (Research); Blue (Advertising) and Edelman Creative Solutions (Interactive). Edelman is the largest privately-held independent and sixth largest public relations firm in the world.
A native of New York City, Edelman was graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Columbia College in 1940 and earned an M.S. degree from Columbia Graduate School of Journalism the following year. During the Second World War he was an officer in the U.S. Army Psychological Warfare and Information Control Divisions, serving in England, France and Germany and received four battle stars and the Commendation Medal. He was a newspaper reporter and later radio news writer for CBS before moving into public relations in New York. He became public relations director of the Toni division of Gillette in Chicago in 1948 and started his firm there on October 1, 1952.
Edelman is the recipient of Columbia University’s Distinguished Alumnus Award and John Jay Award. He is the 1992 Jewish United Fund of Chicago “Communicator of the Year.” He was voted the 1993 “PR Professional of the Year” by readers of PR News and was an Inside PR Creative All-Star for 1994. He received the Ball State University 1996 National Public Relations Achievement Award. He was awarded the 1997 Top Gun Award from the Chicagoland Public Relations Society of America and the Lifetime Achievement Award from Inside PR magazine in 1998. The Arthur Page Society inducted him into the Hall of Fame in 1997. He was selected for the Chicago Business Hall of Fame by Junior Achievement in 1998. Edelman was the 1999 Gold Anvil Award Recipient from PRSA. In 1999, he also received the first-ever Outstanding Achievement Award from the China International Public Relations Association “for bringing modern public relations practices to China.” He was awarded the Lion of Finland for professional public relations services to that country.
Edelman served on the first Illinois Lottery Control Board; was President of the Chicago Chapter of the Young Presidents’ Organization; and is a member of the Chief Executives Organization. He’s a former Board member of Save the Children Federation, served as Chairman of the University of Chicago Library Board and was a Board member of the Northwestern University Music School. He was formerly a member of the Board of Illinois Children’s Home and Aid Society and is a current member of the Board of Lyric Opera of Chicago. He’s a member of the Public Relations Society of America, the Publicity Club of Chicago and former Chairman, Counselors Academy, Public Relations Society of America. He’s a member of the Arthur Page Society and PR Seminar and is a PRSA Fellow.