|Birth: ||Aug. 12, 1906|
|Death: ||May 17, 2005|
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Author: Derrick Henry
Claude T. Grizzard Jr., 98, Direct Mail Pioneer, Civic Leader
A quarter short of graduating from Georgia Tech with the second highest grade point average in his class, Claude T. Grizzard Jr. quit school to try his hand in the fledgling direct mail business. He became a giant of the direct marketing industry. In 1928, he started working for LeGette Letter Service at a four-person production facility that folded customized letters, stuffed envelopes, then delivered them to the post office.
Later that year he took over the business, changing its name to Grizzard Advertising in 1933.
Under Mr. Grizzard, the company became one of the country's 10 largest full-service mail advertising agencies. It grew to more than 600 employees with nine offices across the country and annual sales of nearly $125 million.
Mr. Grizzard, 98, died Tuesday at his Atlanta residence of congestive heart failure. The funeral is 2 p.m. today at Haygood Memorial United Methodist Church. A. S. Turner & Sons is in charge of arrangements.
"Dad was a creative person, " said his son, Claude H. Grizzard Sr. of Stone Mountain, CEO of Grizzard Advertising for 30 years. "He would write copy and do artwork. He did other things as well. He would go into, say, a neighborhood drugstore and develop a direct mail marketing strategy for them and their customers. Then Dad would go to a drugstore across town and say, ‘here's a program that works, and since you don't compete with them, they won't care if I sell this program to you.'"
In 1944, Mr. Grizzard branched out to fund-raising campaigns. "He'd create a campaign for the Salvation Army in Atlanta, then go to the Salvation Army in Augusta and Rome, " his son said. "He could run their campaigns a whole lot cheaper than they could do themselves."
Mr. Grizzard enjoyed the fund-raising work so much that in 1954 he joined forces with Beatrice Haas to create Grizzard and Haas, the first professional fund-raising consulting firm in the Southeast.
Over the next 35 years, that firm planned fund-raising campaigns for schools, colleges, hospitals, the Arts Alliance, Habitat for Humanity, and the American Red Cross, among others. It directed four Forward Atlanta campaigns and 22 campaigns for the Joint Tech-Georgia Development Fund to increase faculty salaries.
When Mr. Grizzard co founded Grizzard and Haas, "he decided to turn Grizzard Advertising over to the younger generation," said Glenn Summerlin of Atlanta, president of the firm for 20 years.
Mr. Grizzard was a straight shooter, totally trustworthy," Mr. Summerlin added. "He did what he said he would; he didn't interfere or micromanage." After selling Grizzard & Haas around 1990, Mr. Grizzard returned to work three days a week at Grizzard Advertising, now Grizzard Communications Group, run by his grandson Claude H. "Chip" Grizzard Jr. of Lawrenceville. He never retired.
He was much in demand as a civic leader. He served on the Salvation Army board more than 50 years, directed the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce two terms and was a director of the Camp Fire Girls and Goodwill Industries of Atlanta.
According to his own records, he was the first man to be a president of a PTA in Georgia, at Henry Grady High School. In 1940 he directed Roy LeCraw's successful campaign for mayor of Atlanta, helping him become the only candidate to defeat William B. Hartsfield for the job.
Mr. Grizzard, who loved boating, volunteered for the U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary on Lake Lanier, patrolling for boats in distress.
In 1976 the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce named him on of the 200 people who had contributed the most to growth and development of Atlanta.
Survivors include two daughters, Pat Leak of Atlanta and Martha Walton of Hamilton; a sister Frances Dover of Fruitland Park, Fla.; six other grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren.
Claude Tiller Grizzard (1877 - 1963)
Sarah Lillian Carr Grizzard (1882 - 1968)
Helen Moore Grizzard (1910 - 1996)
Frances Grizzard King Dover (1903 - 2006)*
Claude Tiller Grizzard (1906 - 2005)
James Carr Grizzard (1910 - 2001)*
William Emory Grizzard (1913 - 1987)*
Plot: Section 10, Lot 113, Space 4
Created by: Sarah Locklin Taylor
Record added: Jun 16, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 71486465
~~~~~~ Rest In Peace ~~~~~~ Husband of 3rd Cousin, Twice Removed (Locklin Family Tree)|
Sarah Locklin Taylor
Added: Jun. 17, 2011