Norman Wolfe, co-founder of Cohn & Wolfe PR agency, has passed away

By Maria Saporta

One of Atlanta’s legendary leaders in public relations — Norman Wolfe — has passed away. Wolfe was a co-founder of the prestigious public relations firm – Cohn & Wolfe — now a global communications firm.

“It is with great sadness that I share the news of the death of Cohn & Wolfe’s co-founder, Norman Wolfe,” Stephen M. Brown, managing partner of Cohn & Wolfe’s Atlanta office, wrote in an email this morning.

Co-founders Bob Cohn and Norman Wolfe stand side-by-side (photo courtesy of Cohn & Wolfe)

Co-founders Bob Cohn and Norman Wolfe stand side-by-side (Photos courtesy of Cohn & Wolfe)

Brown said he did not yet have any details on about the funeral or service arrangements, but he did share a statement from Cohn & Wolfe about the passing of the co-founder.

“Norman Wolfe, co-founder of global communications firm Cohn & Wolfe, passed away on Wednesday, June 4.  Norm founded Cohn & Wolfe with Bob Cohn in Atlanta in 1970, after a career in journalism where he became Executive Editor of the Orlando Sentinel,” the Cohn & Wolfe statement said.

“His passion was public affairs and he directed the crisis communications efforts for Cohn & Wolfe.  Bob and Norm sold Cohn & Wolfe to Y&R in 1984 and led the agency as an independent network with a distinct identity.  Norm retired from his position as Vice Chairman of Cohn & Wolfe in 1992 and continued to provide counsel on a number of clients for a number of years,” the statement continued.

Norman Wolfe sits in the foreground with Bob Cohn looking over his shoulder (Photos courtesy of Cohn & Wolfe)

Norman Wolfe sits in the foreground with Bob Cohn looking over his shoulder (Photos courtesy of Cohn & Wolfe)

Cohn & Wolfe CEO Donna Imperato also paid tribute to the co-founder in a statement.

“We were very saddened to hear of the passing of Norman Wolfe,” she wrote.  “In 1970, Norm founded Cohn & Wolfe, along with  Bob Cohn, and had the foresight and determination to imagine a public relations agency unlike any other. Norm was a true visionary, baking branding and creativity into the DNA of the agency from the very start.  He and Bob created a powerful consumer marketing agency that grew from Atlanta to New York and then went on to become a global leader.  Our condolences go out to his family and friends during this difficult time.”

Brown shared some other accomplishments that Wolfe and his team had made over the years:

·         Wolfe worked behind the scenes on some of Atlanta’s biggest public projects including the fourth runway at Hartsfield International Airport; the widening of the city’s major interstates; the long struggle to build Georgia 400; and ‘Get Gwinnett Wet’ in support of Gwinnett County;

·         The agency, under the leadership of both co-founders, did a lot of Olympics work from the start and had a strong sports marketing practice from the early days.  Major Olympics work including a campaign for Coca-Cola in 1980 at Lake Placid;

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

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