Harold Burson, in a survey conducted by PRWeek, was described as “the century’s most influential PR figure.” This recognition is a culmination of more than fifty years of serving as counselor to and confidante of corporate CEOs, government leaders and heads of public sector institutions. Mr. Burson has contributed to the public relations industry and worldwide community as a member and leader, including: Presidential appointee to the Fine Arts Commission (1981-1985); Chairman of the National Council on Economic Education; trustee of The Economics Club of New York; Chairman of USIA Public Relations Advisory Committee, and board member of the World Wildlife Fund.
He was elected to the Horatio Alger Society (1986) and is an Executive Council Member of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture, University of Mississippi. Mr. Burson is founder of the Kennedy Center Corporate Fund, a director of Kennedy Center Productions, and a trustee and founder of Fortas Chamber Music Fund. He is a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts, the New York Academy of Medicine, the President’s Advisory Board of the New York Academy of Sciences and the Advisory Board of the Business Council for International Understanding.
Boston University honored him with a Doctor of Humane Letters degree (hon. 1988) and a Chair in Public Relations was established in his name (2002). He is a graduate of the University of Mississippi and was elected to the Alumni Hall of Fame (1986). He is a veteran of World War II with service as a combat engineer in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. As an Army news correspondent for American Forces Network, he covered the Nuremberg Trial of leading Nazi war criminals. Mr. Burson is currently the author of a blog focused on the ever-changing role of public relations.