Lester Wunderman

Share this article:
Lester Wunderman
Lester Wunderman

While I was growing up in this busi­ness, Lester was one of my idols. He's the man who in a 1967 address at Mas­sachussets Institute of Technology liter­ally named and defined the practice of direct marketing. I was all of 13, but he paved the way for thousands of direct marketing practitioners, includ­ing me, to follow his vision.

Over the years, so many of us hung on every wordexpressed in his books, including Being Direct and Frontiers of Direct Marketing; his myriad press interviews and count­less speeches to the marketing industry.

Lester has justifiably won every conceivable award in our business, from multiple lifetime achievement honors to sitting in several Halls of Fame, including the Direct Marketing Association's and the American Advertising Federation's.

I remember the first time I ever spoke to Lester. It was at a conference in Los Angeles. I'd been in the business about 10 years. Lester had just delivered a speech, and like a star-struck groupie I stopped him in the hallway and told him how much I wished I'd had the chance to work for him.

When we first got into direct response television more than 25 years ago, I closely studied the work that Lester was doing for the likes of Time-Life, Columbia House and American Express, which I think made the entire industry better at our jobs.

I've been fortunate to have lunch with Lester and his lovely wife Sue every summer for a number of years. I soak up every word over those very special meals, conscious of the fact I'm continuing to learn from one of the greatest minds our business has ever seen.

He is one of a kind. An accomplished businessman. A devoted family man. A visionary. An artist. A leg­end. That's the Lester I'm proud to know — and the Wonder Man so many of us aspire to be.

Howard Draft is executive chairman of Draftfcb.

Share this article:
You must be a registered member of Direct Marketing News to post a comment.
close

Next Article in 30th Anniversary Issue

Sign up to our newsletters

Latest Jobs:


Company of the Week


Founded in September 2009, Stirista is an integrated marketing agency that specializes in micro-targeting via traditional and digital channels. Our mission is to help companies, non-profits, and universities alike find new prospects and better understand their existing contacts. We are on the preferred vendor list for a handful of Fortune 500 companies with three of the ten largest companies in the world turning to us for marketing insights. To put it simply, we're young (at least at heart), ambitious, and sometimes impulsive-but always hungry for new ideas.

Featured Listings

Stirista

Stirista

Founded in September 2009, Stirista is an integrated marketing agency that specializes in ...