John Elliott Jr. began his career in advertising with Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn (BBDO) following graduation from Harvard College and several years of service with the Marine Corps. He served as director of BBDO before joining the management of Ogilvy & Mather. From 1965 to 1975, Elliott was the chairman of Ogilvy & Mather, U.S., and chairman of the worldwide company from 1975 to 1982, having succeeded David Ogilvy in both posts. His leadership was remarkable for wisdom, humility and human kindness. He is currently chairman emeritus of Ogilvy & Mather.
As chairman of the American Association of Advertising Agencies and the Advertising Council, and through his association with other industry groups, Elliott made many contributions to the advertising industry. He has always been a leader in promoting fairness for minorities and women.
Elliott has been an indefatigable worker for a wide range of causes. He served on President Reagan’s Advisory Board on Private Sector Initiatives. He is a trustee of the Wildlife Conservation Society, a life trustee of Channel Thirteen and International House and a director of the Advertising Educational Foundation.
Elliott also collects Christmas books, and has more than 3,000 first editions. Some of his books have been exhibited at the Century Association, Harvard’s Widener Library, the Grolier Club, the Morgan Library and elsewhere.