CHESTER BURGER

About Chester Burger

Chester Burger Remembered :: VIDEO: Chester Burger Memorial, May 7, 2011 :: VIDEO: Chet Burger discusses the earliest days of TV news [New York University, March 2, 2010] :: Truth to Power: A tribute to PR pioneer and critic, Chet Burger :: New York Civic Leader Earns Highest Air Force Public Service Award :: About Chester Burger :: Career Overview :: USAF General, Chief of Staff Norton A. Schwartz Salutes Chet Burger :: Bringing Business and Consumers Closer Together :: Abraham Lincoln: Master Persuader :: How To Meet The Press :: Jesus, the Communicator :: Sooner Than You Think: Technology Pulling the World Together :: Public Opinion Is Decisive :: October 23, 2009: Ten Years Into the Future :: 1999 Interview for Jon J. Metzler's book on Management Consulting :: Leading Change :: Chet Burger celebrates his 81st birthday :: Lifetime Experiences in Dealing with Public Opinion and Public Relations Management

Edward L. Bernays
Chester Burger
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Chester Burger spent most of his 48-year working career in the communications field, establishing many "firsts." After he retired in 1988 from Chester Burger & Co., Inc., he became counsel to James E. Arnold Consultants, Inc., the successor firm. In 1995, the U.S. Government awarded him the 'Medal For Outstanding Service to the United States."

Chester Burger & Co., Inc. was the nation's first communications management consulting firm. During a 24-year period, his clients included American Bankers Association, Sears Roebuck, Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing, Communications Satellite Corporation, American Cancer Society, Occidental Petroleum Corporation, Texas Instruments, Inc. and Bell Canada.

Burger joined the Columbia Broadcasting System in 1941 as a page boy, and left in 1955 as National Manager of CBS Television News. During World War II, he served with the U. S. Army Air Force. After V-J Day, the Army assigned him to experiment with newly-developed television. He produced the Army’s first broadcasts.

He returned to CBS as a visualizer, developing methods for reporting world news on TV news broadcasts then beginning. In April 1946, he became the nation's first television news reporter. He was first president of the Radio-Newsreel-Television Working Press Association of New York.

After entering the public relations field, he became president of Communications Counselors, Inc. In 1955, he became a consultant to the management of AT&T, a relationship that lasted 33 years until his retirement. The Telephone Pioneers of America elected him an Honorary Member for "outstanding service to the telephone industry.''

During the years of the civil rights campaigns, Burger served as an officer and member of the Board of Trustees of the National Urban League. The United Negro College Fund awarded him its Distinguished Service Citation. He was a founder of the Black Executive Exchange Program, and received the Outstanding Mentor Award "for 21 years of counsel and support to minorities in public relations." He is a Life Member of the NAACP.

The United States Information Agency presented Burger with its Award for Outstanding Service to America's public diplomacy efforts. The Public Relations Society of America gave its highest award, the Gold Anvil, and its Counselors Academy designated him "The Counselors' Counselor and its first Life Member. The United States Marine Corps awarded him its first Drew Middleton Public Affairs Award for Distinguished Service.

Burger served as an advisor to the Secretary of the Air Force Office of Public Affairs. He was also Chairman of the Board of Directors of Choice in Dying, Inc. He was a member of the White House Health Project Task Force in 1992, and an Expert Advisor to the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative. He was a member of the Board of Directors of Union Theological Seminary, was an ordained Elder of Central Presbyterian Church in New York and was President of its Board of Trustees.

He authored six books on management subjects, including "The Chief Executive." His lifetime work in photography was acquired for the permanent collections of the New York Historical Society and the New York Public Library. His lifetime papers are in the Center for American History at the University of Texas in Austin.


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