As a major executive of a great advertising agency, Bruce Barton had a remarkably broad and productive career, making him a leading statesman of advertising. He was one of the best known and most respected figures in the industry, markedly enhancing the public image and understanding of the advertising business.
An honor graduate of Berea and Amherst colleges, Barton began his fertile career selling magazine advertisements. He became the editor of several small periodicals and later was a principle contributor to American Magazine.
In 1919 with Roy Durstine and Alex Osborn, he founded the Barton, Durstine & Osborn agency, subsequently incorporating the George Batten Company to form the well-known BBDO, which soon became one of the leading advertising agencies in the world.
Barton was an outstanding copywriter, and many of his phrases and advertisements became classics. He coined the unofficial motto of the Salvation Army, "A man may be down, but he’s never out." He also wrote a famous slogan for Andrew Carnegie of U.S. Steel, which read," He came to a land of wooden towns and left a nation of steel."
Barton wrote several books of an inspirational and religious nature, among them the popular More Power to You, and The Man Nobody Knows. From 1937 to 1941, he represented Manhattan’s old 17th Congressional district in the United States House of Representatives.
Barton volunteered his services for many charity drives and, using modern advertising and promotional techniques, often raised record amounts of money.