Edelman is credited with developing many of the methods now standard in the field, after transforming the firm he started more than 60 years ago with two people into a global marketing force with more than 4,500 employees in 66 offices worldwide.
The firm's clients include Microsoft, Pfizer, Wal-Mart and Royal Dutch Shell. Richard Edelman is now president and chief executive of the company.
Daniel Joseph Edelman was born July 3, 1920, in New York City. A graduate of Columbia University's journalism school, he worked as a reporter and editor for newspapers in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. He was drafted into the Army during World War II and first honed his public relations skills analyzing German propaganda as a member of a psychological warfare unit.
After the war, he worked as a news writer for CBS radio in New York.
He began his career in public relations as a publicist for Musicraft Records, whose musical stars included Mel Torme, sponsored on radio by the Toni hair care products manufacturer. Edelman credited that pairing with launching his marketing creativity: He packaged Torme's records in an album designed to look like a Toni product, gaining attention from disc jockeys and earning him a job as Toni's public relations director in Chicago.
-- Los Angeles Times staff and wire reports