Sunday, September 26, 2010

You're Fired!

They were separated by a few days, but both major newspapers have now weighed in with news obituaries on Joyce Beber, 80, who as co-founder of Beber Silverstein and Partners advertising agency created ads for Leona Helmsley so well that she was fired four times by the Queen herself, sometimes for very non-advertising reasons.

Stephen Miller in the WSJ first covered the news in the WSJ, and now Douglas Martin has caught up in the NYT.

Each obituary reveals some of the same things, and each revels some things the other doesn't. They are intersecting Venn diagram circles that both need to be absorbed for a fuller picture to emerge.

Billy Martin was fired five times by George Steinbrenner for achieving success and notoriety, in sometimes alternating forms, some having nothing to do with baseball. Joyce deserves a plaque somewhere, just maybe not in an outfield. Perhaps a courtyard.

Now Billy, Leona, George and Joyce are no longer with us.

There might be those who moan that the outsized personalities are disappearing and are being replaced by committees. I don't think this is the case. There are plenty more where they came from. Rupert Murdoch, Jeffrey Zucker, Larry Ellison, Oprah Winfrey, Elizabeth Taylor, are all still with us. Create your own list.

And wait.

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