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Ad Copywriter Lu Corbett Daly Dies at 78

Lu Corbett Daly, 78, an award-winning advertising copywriter who worked for The Washington Post and the National Geographic Society, died Oct. 24 at the Auxiliary House, a long-term-care group home in Bethesda, MD, where she had lived since May 2001. Daly had Alzheimer's disease.

The Direct Marketing Association of Washington named Daly its Professional of the Year in 1991 for her contributions to the 1,350-member organization.

“Lu was a longtime member of the Direct Marketing Association of Washington,” said Syma Mendelsohn, president of the DMAW. “She was a talented copywriter, a wonderfully supportive and active member, an engaging and lively spirit and a delightful woman. We've all lost a dear friend.”

Daly was twice elected to the DMAW board of directors, serving two years as program chair.

Daly was hired by the National Geographic Society's promotion division in 1982, and for the next dozen years she helped produce direct marketing packages sent worldwide to millions of society members and prospective members.

Her direct mail piece for the 1985 book “Discovering Britain & Ireland” helped sell more than 300,000 copies — a society record. Daly won an Echo Award from the Direct Marketing Association for that effort. She retired in January 1995.

“Lu was extraordinarily creative, and it was just a pleasure to read what she wrote,” said Karen Rice Gardiner, director of creative services in the marketing services division of the National Geographic Society, who worked with Daly. “She was an excellent copywriter. She really understood what human beings are all about, and then how to talk to them.”

Daly was also co-editor of “The Daly Greeting,” dubbed “The Only Daly Paper Published Annually,” which recounts the doings of her large family. Her father-in-law, John Jay Daly Sr., a former Washington Post staff writer, began the paper in 1916, according to the Washington Post.

Survivors include her husband of 51 years, John Jay Daly of Chevy Chase, MD, who is prominent in direct marketing; eight children and 11 grandchildren.

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