Mr. Graham, who had a 35-year career with Crain Communications Inc., parent company of Advertising Age, served as the publication's managing editor from 1954 to 1969 and as editor from 1969 to 1975. He directed the news operations during a period when Ad Age greatly expanded its Washington coverage of the federal government's increasing regulation of advertising.
COOL UNDER FIRE
"Jack Graham was an extraordinary man-cool under fire, especially on Fridays, our closing day, which he called `bombs away day'; witty; a great storyteller; and, most importantly, an editor with unfailing journalistic instincts," said Rance Crain, Ad Age editor in chief and Crain president. "They don't make them like Jack anymore."
An editor with a streak of crusading zeal, he worked to ensure that the 1971 ban on cigarette TV advertising was adhered to by directing an editorial stance against the use of the medium by Winchester "little" cigars, and earlier had helped spearhead an anti-handgun editorial position following the shootings of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy in 1968.
"The morning after Kennedy's shooting, both [Editor Sid] Bernstein and I came into the office outraged," Mr. Graham recalled later. The upshot was a series of editorials, including one Mr. Graham believed to have been the first that Ad Age ran on Page 1.
An immensely popular editor, Mr. Graham was not only known for his keen news judgment but also for his gregarious nature. He knew hundreds of people throughout the advertising industry and was active with the Advertising Club of Chicago, the American Business Press and the James Webb Young Foundation, which aids advertising students at the University of Illinois.
A Chicago native, Mr. Graham was a graduate of the University of Chicago and served in the U.S. Army in World War II. He joined Ad Age as a reporter in 1950, working his way up through the news ranks.
PUBLISHER OF CRAIN BOOKS
In 1975, after his years as managing editor and editor, he became director of editorial development for Crain Communications, a position created to coordinate the company's growing stable of publications. He also was publisher of the company's Crain Books division, now an arm of NTC/Contemporary Publishing Co.
In 1977, Mr. Graham was named VP in charge of communications and editorial development. He also wrote a marketing column for the then-new Crain's Chicago Business.
His wife, Elizabeth, who died in 1993, was head librarian at Crain from 1944 to 1978 and built the facility into a leading resource for the advertising and marketing industry.
Mr. Graham is survived by a daughter, Carol Graham.