L.A. Ad Industry to Remember O’Sullivan

LOS ANGELES A memorial service for longtime West Coast adman Tom O’Sullivan is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, May 14, at St. John Fisher Catholic Church in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., according to a representative from Los Angeles’ Advertising Industry Emergency Fund.

O’Sullivan, who suffered a series of illnesses over the past few years, died on Friday, April 15, due to complications from a progressive blood disorder. He was 63.

O’Sullivan’s three-decade agency career began in the late 1960s, when he traded his job as product manager at Pfizer Pharmaceuticals for an account management role at Grey, New York. Swapping coasts, O’Sullivan was hired in a similar position at Doyle Dane Bernbach, Los Angeles, in 1975. He later held account management posts at Needham, Harper & Steers and Doremus Advertising, both in Los Angeles, and founded Kollewe/O’Sullivan with the late creative Chuck Kollewe. Following his partner’s death, O’Sullivan and creative director Jim Weller founded Weller/O’Sullivan, which O’Sullivan ran until his retirement in 2000.

Born in New York in 1942, O’Sullivan received his bachelor’s and MBA degrees from Fordham University. He joined the U.S. Army shortly after graduation and was soon stationed in Korea, where he served as a captain in the military police.

More recently, O’Sullivan taught advertising and marketing classes at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and California State University at Long Beach, as well as oversaw the Southern California efforts of the American Association of Advertising Agencies’ Advanced Advertising Studies program. In addition, he served as an expert consultant for law firms involved in advertising-related litigations.

O’Sullivan is survived by a daughter, Deirdre Miller of New York, and two brothers.

—Adweek staff report