Lee, Ivy Ledbetter

Ivy Ledbetter Lee (1877–1934) was one of the fathers of professional public relations as understood in the 21st century. Promotion has been practiced since antiquity, but public relations was born in America in the late 19th or early 20th century. (Historians do not agree on the precise date of the profession’s birth.) Lee is largely credited with influencing the development of the profession by setting the ethical standards and philosophical underpinnings of how practitioners ought to work. An 1898 graduate of Princeton University, he reported for three New York newspapers before he left journalism in 1903 for the promise of public relations. At first, he worked piecemeal or freelance jobs until George Parker, formerly press agent for President Grover Cleveland, secured Lee a position ...

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