Oral Histories

Dan Edelman

Interview Segments on Topic: Arthur Page/Principles/Society/Center

Dan Edelman Biography

Daniel Edelman is founder and chairman of Daniel J. Edelman, Inc., the world’s largest privately held independent firm with 45 offices across the globe.  He began his PR career as director of public relations for the Toni division of Gillette in 1948 where he created the first-ever product media tour, taking 12 sets of identical twins across the country.   The success of the tour gave him the confidence to launch his private firm in Chicago in 1952.

Edelman continued his “big ideas” with other products, defining Edelman, Inc. as the expert in marketing public relations and excelling in new product launches, brand building and setting the standard for the direct marketing industry.


Interviewer: The Arthur W. Page Center at Penn State is committed to fostering integrity in public communication. Can you suggest a few ways a program like this can be made even more effective.

Edelman: I think you’re on the right track. I mean, the things I read about what the Arthur Page Society is doing, the stories you handed me. Penn State opens center PR’s ethics quality. That’s all terrific. And I think one wouldn’t have expected it to come from Penn State but I’m delighted that it has. And we need more universities to do a comparable kind of thing. So I can’t tell you what more should be done. I think frankly as I said earlier ethics is focused on too much and I think in your program as well. I think you have it or you don’t. But there are many things about this practice. It doesn’t involve ethics. Strength, capability, experience, digging in and getting it done. Can you do it or can’t you.