Former Barron’s publisher Bernard Flanagan, the mind behind the award-winning Creative Leaders campaign, dies age 88

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Bernard Thomas Flanagan, who served as a sergeant in the Korean War and in a leadership role for New York and national advertising groups over a four-decade executive career at The Wall Street Journal and its parent company, Dow Jones & Co., died on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2019, aged 88.

Flanagan rose through the Dow Jones ranks to serve as publisher of Barron’s. He lead the company’s magazine group in the late 1970s, later served as vice president of marketing for the Journal from 1990 to 1994 and last as vice president of corporate marketing at Dow Jones (which is also the parent of this site, MarketWatch), before retiring in 1996.

Former Barron’s publisher Bernard Thomas Flanagan (April 14, 1931 – November 11, 2019)

A big believer in the power of maintaining advertising spending during economic downturns, Flanagan persuaded Dow Jones to fund the award-winning Creative Leaders campaign, a series of interviews with the industry’s top talent around the globe, his daughter, Bernice Burns, said. In copy-dominant, full-page “ads about ads,” creative directors at the hottest agencies of their time shared their professional philosophies, success stories, the state of the business and their beliefs on how and why advertising works.

Flanagan served on the boards of the Advertising Club of New York and the American Advertising Federation. While leading the latter, he was instrumental in helping defeat advertising tax initiatives at the state and national level, his daughter said. Flanagan was inducted into AAF’s Advertising Hall of Fame in 1999.

In addition to his wife of 64 years, Mary, the Brooklyn-born Flanagan, most recently of Naples, Fla., is survived by three daughters, including Burns, two sons, 11 grandchildren, two step-grandchildren and a great-granddaughter. He enjoyed golf and played the piano. He was a dedicated fan of the NFL’s New York Giants and of MLB’s New York Yankees (but only after his beloved Dodgers left for Los Angeles).

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