Edward Meyer, Chairman of Ocean Road Advisors passes away peacefully at home on Tuesday, April 11th surrounded by his family.
Edward Henry Meyer, legendary American Advertising agency executive
who served for more than 35 years as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Grey Global Group and who,
together with his wife, Sandra, authored a transformative $75 million gift to create the Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medicine.
Edward Henry (Ed) Meyer, 96, passed away peacefully at home on Tuesday, April 11th surrounded by his family.
Ed Meyer was born on January 8, 1927 in New York City, the son of Irving H. and Mildred (Driesen) Meyer. He was raised in New York City, attending Hunter College elementary and middle schools and Stuyvesant High School before graduating from the Horace Mann School. He enrolled at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, taking time off to serve honorably in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve from 1945 to 1947. Returning to Cornell after his war service, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, with honors, in 1949.
Upon graduation from Cornell, Mr. Meyer started his career with the Bloomingdale’s division of Federated Dept. Stores (now Macy’s, Inc.). In 1951, he began his 55-year career in the advertising business, starting initially with The Biow Company, where he developed his career-long, close business relationship with the packaged-goods giant, Procter & Gamble. In 1956, Mr. Meyer joined Grey Advertising, the predecessor to Grey Global Group. Over 50 years at Grey, he held numerous positions, becoming President in 1968 and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in 1970. Over the next three and a half decades, Mr. Meyer built Grey into a multinational advertising and marketing communications behemoth, with operations in 96 countries. He orchestrated the sale of Grey to another global media conglomerate, the WPP Group, in 2005, retiring as Chairman in 2006.
In 2005, Mr. Meyer joined with his son, Anthony (Tony) Meyer, to establish Ocean Road Advisors, Inc. as the family office management company for the Meyer family. He served as Chairman of Ocean Road Advisors until his passing.
Edward Meyer married the former Sandra Lee Raabin on April 26, 1957, and had two children, Margaret (Meg) Meyer, an Official Fellow (Professor) in Economics at Nuffield College, Oxford University; and Anthony (Tony) Meyer, a serial entrepreneur and private investor who currently runs the Meyer family office, Ocean Road Advisors, Inc.
He served with great distinction as a Board director of numerous American public companies, including Harman International Industries, Inc., Ethan Allen Interiors Inc., Allconnect, Retail Opportunity Investments Corporation and National CineMedia, Inc. Mr. Meyer also served proudly on the Advisory Board of Pershing Square Capital Management from the inception of that firm.
An active and committed philanthropist, together with his wife and family, Mr. Meyer supported such important causes as Weill Cornell Medicine, the American Jewish Committee, the Film Society of Lincoln Center, and Cornell and New York Universities.
He also served as a Trustee of numerous New York City-based charitable, community and arts organizations including Weill Cornell Medicine, the American Jewish Committee, the American Museum of Natural History, the Guggenheim Museum, the New York University Medical Center and the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Mr. Meyer was also a member of numerous social and recreational organizations including the Economics Club (New York City), the University Club (New York City), the Harmonie Club (New York City), Century Country Club, Atlantic Golf Club and the Palm Beach Country Club.
Edward Meyer was predeceased by his parents and his siblings, Alvin Jay Meyer and Anne Meyer Dubin. He is survived by his wife, Sandy; his two children, Meg and Tony; his niece, Emmie Dubin; and five grandchildren (David, Katherine, and William; and Olivia and Victoria).
The burial and shiva will be held privately; however, the family is organizing a public memorial service at Central Synagogue in Manhattan for the evening of Saturday, April 15th at 6 pm. The service will be live-streamed as well on the Central Synagogue website. For information about the shiva, please email EHMMemorial@oceanroadadvisors.com. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to UJA-Federation of New York or Women for Women International.