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Ed's Story

It seems like anyone who has been in the industry over a certain number of years has an Ed Burnett story. He was interviewed by David Letterman, CNN, NBC’s “Today Show” and the “CBS Evening News With Walter Cronkite.” His columns appeared in this newspaper and several others. He received the Direct Marketing Association’s first List Leader Award. He even won one honor twice: the Luke Kaiser Educational Award from the Mailing & Fulfillment Service Association.

Yes, Ed took home all the awards except one: induction into the DMA’s Hall of Fame. Last year, the DMA decided to honor Ben Franklin instead of Ed and several other worthy recipients. If you think Ed or other living direct marketers should be inducted into the Hall of Fame, go to this Web address and fill out the form and mail it to the DMA: www.the-dma.org/industryawards/hof/recommendationform.pdf. The DMA is accepting nominations until April 15. Ed’s legion of supporters was endless, and I heard from many in the days since the news of his death.

Jim Pehta, chairman of the National Postal Museum Advisory Council: “Ed was always someone who would try to mentor whenever he could, and I used to tell him he was more of a college professor than a business list executive. He was very helpful to many in the industry and had a keen sense of pride with the growth of the business list community. Whenever he saw one of his pupils at a trade show, he was always there with a smile and bit of wisdom.”

Gordon Levy, J.F. Glaser: “Ed was an entrepreneur who had the courage and determination to found organizations that became the leading edge of the industry. He was obsessed with his work yet had the time and energy to assist many. During my career in direct marketing, he provided me with concepts and ideas that ensured the success of my endeavors. He will be missed. I cherished his friendship.”

Paul E. Toub, marketing director at Anthony Home Improvements: “I first met Ed in the mid-1980s when I was advertising/marketing director at Charming Shoppes. Ed convinced me that we were sitting on a small fortune with our database of both proprietary charge card and other customers. He was right! … Most of the time he spent with me was in conversations dealing with ideas that would have absolutely no positive financial gains for him or his company. In a world where so many people are only looking out for themselves, Ed was indeed unique.”

Well, DMA?

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