Obituary: Former 'AA' publisher dies

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David J. Cleary Jr., who rose from Advertising Age sales representative to become its publisher, died June 11 in Southern Pines, N.C., after a brief illness. He was 83.

Mr. Cleary retired from Ad Age parent Crain Communications in 1983 after a 30-year career with the company. At the time, he was exec VP-general manager of Crain and group publisher responsible for Ad Age and six other Crain publications.

Mr. Cleary joined the New York office of Ad Age as a sales representative in 1952, coming from the New York Journal-American. In 1962, he was promoted to district sales manager and the following year was elected VP of Crain and named advertising director of Ad Age.

In 1970, he became the third executive in Ad Age history to hold the publisher title (the others were Sidney R. Bernstein, Mr. Cleary's immediate predecessor in that post, and Ad Age and Crain Communications founder G.D. Crain Jr.). In 1977, Mr. Cleary was promoted to group publisher responsible for Ad Age, Business Insurance, Collector-Investor, Crain's Chicago Business, Industrial Marketing (now BtoB), Modern Healthcare and Pensions & Investments. He became exec VP-general manager of Crain in 1980.

"Dave Cleary had a remarkable impact on our company," said Crain Communications President Rance Crain. "Dave had very pronounced ideas on how our salespeople should conduct themselves. (He insisted they must all carry a rate card in their breast pocket and have shined shoes.) And he was a mentor to many of our publishers and ad directors, who continue to draw on what Dave taught them. He had integrity and pride in his profession and our company that left an enduring legacy."

Mr. Cleary is survived by his wife, Kathleen; a daughter, Kathleen Look; a son, David J. Cleary III; and five grandchildren. A granddaughter, Kathleen Robson, is a member of the Modern Healthcare editorial staff.


Name: David J. Cleary Jr.

Age: 83

Retired: 1983, after 30 years with Crain Communications

Key posts: Ad Age publisher and Crain's exec VP-group publisher

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