Howard Mendelsohn is president of Howard Mendelsohn & Company, a Chicago public relations consulting firm. After attending the University of Illinois where he studied business administration, he graduated from Columbia College with a bachelor's degree in speech.
He began his career as an announcer and disc jockey for KAAA, a radio station in Red Wing, Minnesota. He then became the play-by-play announcer for radio, television, and public address for National Roller Derby, also serving as publicist and moving from various major cities to New York City. There he announced three games a week on the ABC Television Network and acted as national publicity director for the Roller Derby. After returning to Chicago, he became an account executive at Herbert M. Kraus Public Relations and subsequently directed public relations for CBS, WBBM-TV, Channel 2, Chicago.
Mendelsohn started his company in 1957 and represented trade shows, retail stores, Entertainers, concerts, clubs, women's fashion designers, and the Chicago Bears for their advertising for 10 years. He was a Chicago publicist for numerous major companies including Seagram Distillers Company, Lawry's Foods, Hunt's Foods, Consolidated Cigar, Ford Motor Company, Universal Pictures, Merrill Chase Galleries, andHarper's Bazaar Magazine. He was the publicist for a variety of theatrical productions including Golden Boy, Hair, You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown!, and Stop the World. He was also the publicist for Melody Top Theatre for six years. Restaurant clients have included Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, Ditka's, International House of Pancakes, That Steak Joynt, P.J. Clarke's, Gaslight Clubs, and Corona Cafe, among others.
He also handled public relations for entertainers including Lucille Ball, Tony Bennett, Jack Benny, Vic Damone, Sammy Davis, Jr., George Gobel, Marlene Dietrich, Phyllis Diller, Merv Griffin, Ted Lewis, Erroll Garner, and Fats Domino. His fundraising credits list the Variety Club of Illinois, Little City Foundation, and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Mendelsohn was also producer/publicist of five Chicago Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethons and the first Chicago Variety Club Telethon.
As the co-founder of Chicago Communications Day, his yearly luncheon has raised funds for Columbia College students since 1975. As a member of the Publicity Club of Chicago for 24 years, he served as president, vice president, and member of the board of directors. He served a on the board and as vice president of the Variety Club of Illinois for 12 years, but was a member for twenty-two years.