Theodore Repplier came to the War Advertising Council in 1943 from Young & Rubicam, where he was a writer and creative supervisor. He quickly became the staff director of an advertising effort that involved 150 campaigns and generated $1 billion in donated print, radio and outdoor advertising during the war years. When the war's end left the council's future in doubt, Repplier fought to redefine its role in society.
As the first president of the Ad Council, serving almost from its birth in World War II until his retirement in 1966, Repplier organized and directed the campaigns for the public good in war and peace. He helped to establish public service advertising as the powerful implement for social change it is today. The effectiveness of campaigns to fight polio, reduce forest fires, and educate Americans about concerns ranging from free trade to driving safety, proved that the council was an important force for social change.
Repplier led the council firmly and consistently. He gave up a promising career as an advertising executive to work for the public good. His principles, creative standards, scholarship and wisdom set an example for those in the advertising industry. Upon retiring, Repplier willed this credo to future directors of the Ad Council: "Always put the country's interest first."