"Father of Direct Marketing", Lester Wunderman Passes Away at 98 years old
We’re very sad to share the news that our adored founder, Lester Wunderman passed away on Wednesday 9th January, with his beloved wife, Sue, by his side. Lester was 98 years old.
Lester was truly an inspiration to all of us. A thoughtful and humble man, a devoted husband and father, an astute businessman, a supporter of the arts and a fierce competitor; Lester made an impression in every aspect of his life. We and all who worked with him at Wunderman will miss him dearly.
Lester had an uncanny ability to spot opportunities where no one else could. At a time when the majority of marketing was focused around mass communication, Lester founded Wunderman in 1958 as a new kind of agency, one that focused on delivering measurable value for clients. This concept caught on and eventually led to the creation of today’s trillion-dollar direct marketing industry.
As tenacious as he was gracious, Lester put direct marketing on the map by championing an approach to creating growth for our clients’ businesses. And in 2019, that pioneering principle still holds true as much today as it does for our future. As we continue to strive for excellence, we will humbly carry Lester’s legacy forward by continuing to be the best partner to our clients and continuing to create a culture where people feel empowered to do the greatest work of their careers.
Perhaps Lester said it best, “If there is a lesson to be learned, I believe it is to not do anything half-heartedly. If you are going to do it at all, give it all that you have to give.”
At 93 years old, Lester was still coming regularly to Wunderman offices and it was apparent that he had not lost any of his enthusiasm for our industry and our work as he discussed the opportunities that new technology was bringing.
In Lester’s honour, in 2016 we established the Lester Wunderman Scholarship Fund, administered through the Marketing EDGE a non-profit education organization.
Lester was an extraordinary man. A visionary who pushed everyone to not only work hard but to better themselves in the process. An inspiration to all of us, Lester leaves an enduring legacy at Wunderman and WPP, with all the family, friends and colleagues he touched along the way. He will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with his family.
For more information, visit www.LesterWunderman.com