2017 Archives

Ad giant Liener Temerlin, founder of Temerlin McClain, dies

Dallas icon was namesake of SMU’s Temerlin Advertising Institute for Education and Research

January 13, 2017

Liener TemerlinAdvertising giant Liener Temerlin, chairman emeritus and cofounder of Temerlin McClain Inc. and the namesake of SMU’s Temerlin Advertising Institute for Education and Research, died Thursday, January 12, 2017, at his home in Austin. He was 88.

A memorial for Temerlin will take place at 3 p.m. Sunday, January 15, 2017, in the Stern Chapel at Temple Emanu-El in Dallas.

“Liener Temerlin was a Dallas legend whose vision for his industry served his vision of a world changed for the better,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “His professional brilliance and ethical leadership are at the heart of the Temerlin Advertising Institute, and generations of young people will have the opportunity to learn from his example.”

Memorial Service

A memorial for Temerlin will take place at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017, in the Stern Chapel at Temple Emanu-El in Dallas.


The family asks that memorial gifts be directed to the Temerlin Advertising Institute at SMU, PO Box 750402, Dallas TX 75275-0402, to the Parkinson Voice Project, or to the charity of one’s choice.

SMU established its Temerlin Advertising Institute for Education and Research in 2001, with initial gifts of more than $6 million from more than 70 of Temerlin’s friends and colleagues. It was the United States’ first endowed institute for the study of advertising and the first to be named for an advertising executive. Offering both bachelor’s and master’s degrees, the Temerlin Advertising Institute (TAI) trains students to search for unique and ethical solutions in advertising, guided by its founding philosophy: “Better Advertising. Better World.”

In addition to opportunities for a 15-week executive internship, M.A. candidates also study advertising outside the United States to further develop global perspective. The education SMU advertising students receive in TAI has helped them earn scores of regional, national and international honors, including two national and four district championships in the AAF National Student Advertising Competition and awards in prestigious competitions including The One Show, CMYK Magazine and The Art Directors Club of New York. The Temerlin Institute was named one of 10 leaders in advertising education among U.S. colleges and universities by Stuart Elliott, former advertising critic for The New York Times.

“It was one of the great honors of my life when Liener Temerlin and Stan Richards teamed up and called to persuade me to come to SMU to lead the newly endowed Temerlin Advertising Institute,” said Professor of Advertising Patricia Alvey, SMU director of assessment and accreditation and TAI’s founding director. “Liener was one of the most charming and persuasive men I’ve had the joy to work with. He spent a lifetime giving back to his community and industry. And one of the accomplishments of which he was most proud was that a program training young advertising professionals bears his name.

“Liener always maintained that his successes came because he was able to stand on the shoulders of giants. SMU’s Temerlin Advertising Institute stands on Liener’s very broad shoulders.”

“Liener Temerlin’s vision changed the nature of advertising education,” said Distinguished Chair and Professor of Advertising Steve Edwards, director of the Temerlin Advertising Institute. “By establishing the first endowed advertising program in the country, Mr. Temerlin shined a powerful spotlight on responsibility, ethics and making a better world through better advertising. Not only did he positively impact the advertising industry as an agency CEO, but has left a legacy of influence that will continue to shape students and faculty at SMU for generations. The Institute established in his name provides a beacon to which other educational programs aspire.”

As an advertising executive who spent virtually his entire career in the Dallas area, Temerlin built his work on understanding the complexity of service-driven retail businesses. Early in his career, he solicited accounts with intricate and highly localized media needs that many other agencies did not want, such as jewelry stores, barbecue restaurants, laundry services and car dealerships. His ability to help build their brands while creating demand for their services became the foundation for the agency he cofounded, Temerlin McClain.

In the process, Temerlin played a role in making North Texas one of the most important ad-agency hubs in the Southwest. He helped bring to the region the first large national and international accounts, including American Airlines, Cessna, Dial Corporation, Greyhound, Hyatt Hotels, JCPenney, Max Factor, Philippine Airlines, Pfizer, Quaker Oats and Warner Lambert, among many others. He was named to the American Advertising Federation Hall of Fame in 2003.

Julius Liener Temerlin was born March 27, 1928, in Ardmore, Okla., the son of Pincus and Julie Kahn Temerlin. He graduated from Ardmore High School as president of the class of 1946 and earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1950 from the University of Oklahoma-Norman, where he participated in the ROTC program and served as president of Phi Lambda Phi fraternity. He also won one of his first major honors as an OU student: a Peabody Award as writer and producer of the radio series “This is Oklahoma,” sponsored by U.S. Savings Bonds.

Temerlin married Karla Sue Samuelsohn on July 23, 1950, and worked from 1950 to 1951 as associate editor of Sponsor Magazine in New York. From 1951 to 1952, during the Korean War, he served in the U.S. Army as a first lieutenant in field artillery; he was awarded the Bronze Star during his service.

In 1953, Temerlin moved his family to Dallas so he could take a job as a copywriter with Glenn Advertising. He would spend the next 48 years with the agency, even as it changed names and ownership and eventually became the entity that bore his own name.

After Glenn Advertising merged with Bozell & Jacobs in 1974, Temerlin became president and business director of Glenn, Bozell & Jacobs. He continued with the agency through its many incarnations – as chairman of Bozell & Jacobs from 1979 to 1986; chairman of Bozell, Jacobs, Kenyon & Eckhardt from 1986 to 1989; and chairman of Bozell from 1989 to 1992. In 1992, the Bozell/Southwest office became Temerlin McClain, where he served as chairman from 1992 to 2001. Upon his retirement, he was named chairman emeritus of Temerlin McClain and served in that capacity until his passing.

His civic and industry awards and honors included the Institute of Human Relations Award from the American Jewish Committee’s Dallas Chapter, the 2001 Servant Leader Award from the Volunteer Center of Dallas, the “Best Man in Advertising” Awards from ADWEEK and McCall's magazine, the Neiman Marcus Silver Cup for contributions to the arts, and the Linz Award, the Southwest region’s oldest recognition for the highest level of civic service and accomplishment.

As SMU’s Algur H. Meadows Distinguished Professor of Advertising, Temerlin taught in the advertising division that would later be named for him. In the community, he actively supported causes with the goal of improving life, arts and education in Dallas and North Texas – including his service on the executive board of SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts. His civic involvement included service with the UT-Southwestern Medical School and Foundation, Vogel Alcove Child Care Center for the Homeless, the Dallas Symphony Association and the Dallas Museum of Art. His service as an honorary trustee of the American Film Institute (AFI) in Los Angeles led to his involvement as founder, chairman and festival director of the AFI’s Dallas International Film Festival from 2006 to 2008.

He also served as advisory consultant to the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts and board director for the Dallas County Community College District, as well as the Dallas chapter of the American Heart Fund. In addition, he served with the Dallas Citizens Council, Dallas Chamber of Commerce, Dallas Ambassadors Forum, Temple Emanu-El, the East/West Institute, the Library of Congress and the Madison Council.

Mr. Temerlin is survived by his wife of 66 years, Karla Sue Temerlin; daughters Dana Temerlin Krebs and Lisa Temerlin Gottesman, six grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

The family asks that memorial gifts be directed to the Temerlin Advertising Institute at SMU, PO Box 750402, Dallas TX 75275-0402, to the Parkinson Voice Project, or to the charity of one’s choice.

Related Links:

The Dallas Morning News: Dallas hall of fame ad man, civic leader Liener Temerlin dies at 88 

The Dallas Business JournalAdvertising legend dies at 88

AdweekTexas Ad Icon J. Liener Temerlin Died Yesterday at 88