Data Pioneer Robert Chapman Dies at 81

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Data pioneer Robert D. Chapman of Southbury, CT, died Feb. 7. He was 81.


Chapman was born Aug. 8, 1923. A direct mail specialist, he founded Chapman Direct Advertising, which was acquired by Wunderman in the 1970s.


"If I had any mentor in direct mail, it was probably Bob Chapman," said Lester Wunderman, founder and chairman emeritus of Wunderman, New York. "When we had our agency, we practiced advertising in other media. We were not at the outset totally conversant with direct mail. My association with him was good for both of us."


Wunderman said Chapman was ahead of his time in the use of data and his knowledge of lists.


"He had a way of packaging ideas so that they could be understood," Wunderman said. "His explanations of mail before mail was thought to be a scientific medium were in advance of the other practitioners at the time."


Chapman also was an officer in the Canadian Army and the British Army and served during World War II.


He is survived by his wife, Agnes; son, Peter; daughter, Barbara; and three grandchildren.


The burial was a private ceremony. Munson-Lovetere Funeral Home was in charge of funeral arrangements.


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