David Mackenzie Ogilvy, 1911 - 1999

portrait of David Ogilvy


Born: 23 June 1911, West Horsley, Surrey, England
Died: 21 July 1999, Chateau de Touffou, Bonnes, France

Educated at Fettes College at Edinburgh, then on to Christ Church College Oxford where he says they threw him out after two years. He apprenticed for a year in the kitchen at the Hotel Majestic at Paris, then returned to England and sold cooking stoves (AGA Cookers) door to door. They asked him to write a manual for other salesmen, thirty years later Fortune described it as one of the finest sales manuals ever written. An older brother got him an internship in an advertising agency, and he soon got an assignment in the US. He worked for Gallup learning research, then served in the security section of the British Embassy during the war. After the war he bought a farm in the Amish country of eastern Pennsylvania, then started an advertising agency where he created much of the best remembered and longest running ad campaigns of the century. He retired in 1973 but kept an interest in the field, in the '80s he returned to head Ogilvy, Benson, and Mather in India and managed the agency's German office for a year. When WPP Group, the largest advertising firm, bought the firm, Ogilvy became non-executive chairman for three years.

Biography from Wikipedia and Kenneth Roman

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