Jerry Mander
Jerold Irwin "Jerry" Mander (born May 1, 1936) is an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

Activism consists of intentional efforts to bring about social, political, economic, or environmental change. Activism can take a wide range of forms from writing letters to newspapers or politicians, political campaigning, economic activism such as boycotts or preferentially patronizing...

 and author, best known for his 1977 book, Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television
Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television
Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television is a book written by Jerry Mander which argues that there are a number of problems with the medium of television...

. His most recent book, The Superferry Chronicles, is about efforts by Hawaiian activists to halt the operation of the Hawaii Superferry
Hawaii Superferry
The Hawaii Superferry was a Hawaii-based transportation company that provided passenger and vehicle transportation between Honolulu Harbor on the island of Oahu and Kahului Harbor on Maui...


Life and career

Mander was born in the Bronx
The Bronx
The Bronx is the northernmost of the five boroughs of New York City. It is also known as Bronx County, the last of the 62 counties of New York State to be incorporated...

, New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 to Harry and Eva Mander. Mander's parents were an immigrant Jewish couple who struggled to achieve success in America:

My parents carried the immigrants' fears. Security was their primary value: all else was secondary. Both of them had escaped pogroms in Eastern Europe. My father's career had followed the path familiar to so many New York immigrants. Lower East Side. Scant schooling. Street hustling. Hard work at anything to keep life together. Early marriage. Struggling out of poverty.

Curiously, success came to him during the Depression. He founded what later became Harry Mander and Company, a small service business to the garment industry, manufacturing pipings, waist bands, pocketing and collar canvas.

One of the reasons for my father's success during hard times was World War II. He was beyond draft age and so was free to do a successful trade in servicing the manufacture of military uniforms. After the war, the business grew in new directions as the economy spurted forward into an era of rapid growth.

The Mander family moved from the Bronx to a semi-rural area of Yonkers, New York
Yonkers, New York
Yonkers is the fourth most populous city in the state of New York , and the most populous city in Westchester County, with a population of 195,976...

, when Jerry was at an early age. Jerry grew up there, and says "I was a golf star throughout my youth and that was what I wanted to be, a professional golfer when I was very young."
Mander earned a B.S. in Economics
Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...

 from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
The Wharton School is the business school of the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Wharton was the world’s first collegiate business school and the first business school in the United States...

, then an M.S. in International Economics
International economics
International economics is concerned with the effects upon economic activity of international differences in productive resources and consumer preferences and the institutions that affect them...

 from Columbia University’s Business School
Columbia Business School
Columbia Business School is the business school of Columbia University in Manhattan, New York City. It was established in 1916 to provide business training and professional preparation for undergraduate and graduate Columbia University students...


After receiving his M.S., Mander worked in advertising
Advertising is a form of communication used to persuade an audience to take some action with respect to products, ideas, or services. Most commonly, the desired result is to drive consumer behavior with respect to a commercial offering, although political and ideological advertising is also common...

 for 15 years, including five as partner and president of Freeman, Mander & Gossage in San Francisco. Mander worked with the noted environmentalist
Environmentalism is a broad philosophy, ideology and social movement regarding concerns for environmental conservation and improvement of the health of the environment, particularly as the measure for this health seeks to incorporate the concerns of non-human elements...

, David Brower, managing the Sierra Club
Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is the oldest, largest, and most influential grassroots environmental organization in the United States. It was founded on May 28, 1892, in San Francisco, California, by the conservationist and preservationist John Muir, who became its first president...

's advertising campaigns to prevent the construction of dams in the Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is a steep-sided canyon carved by the Colorado River in the United States in the state of Arizona. It is largely contained within the Grand Canyon National Park, the 15th national park in the United States...

, to establish Redwood National Park, and to stop the U.S. Supersonic Transport
Supersonic transport
A supersonic transport is a civilian supersonic aircraft designed to transport passengers at speeds greater than the speed of sound. The only SSTs to see regular service to date have been Concorde and the Tupolev Tu-144. The last passenger flight of the Tu-144 was in June 1978 with its last ever...

 (SST) project. In 1971 he founded the first non-profit advertising agency
Advertising agency
An advertising agency or ad agency is a service business dedicated to creating, planning and handling advertising for its clients. An ad agency is independent from the client and provides an outside point of view to the effort of selling the client's products or services...

 in the United States, Public Interest Communications.

Mander was the executive director of the International Forum on Globalization, which he founded in 1994, until 2009 and continues to serve on its staff as a Distinguished Fellow. He is also the program director for Megatechnology and Globalization at the Foundation for Deep Ecology.

In 2007 Jerry Mander appeared in the full-length documentary film, What a Way to Go: Life at the End of Empire
What a Way to Go: Life at the End of Empire
What A Way To Go: Life at the End of Empire is a 2007 documentary film about the current situation facing humanity and the world. It discusses issues such as peak oil, climate change, population overshoot and species extinction, as well as how this situation has developed...


In an interview with's W. David Kubiak, Mander describes how he got into advertising and how he turned it to the service of social causes:

Well, I wasn't a rebel when I got into advertising. I became a rebel through advertising. It was by being in advertising and realizing what advertising does in the system. I mean I can't explain why I, unlike other advertising men, saw that as a big problem. But I became involved using those techniques to help, you know, environmental groups and anti-war groups and civil rights groups, using advertising as a technique to help them. Advertising and also public relations work. So using that medium is what awoke me in many ways to the power of the medium and the power to use it in the reverse, against the system as well. Although the main problem is that those who are in power have so much more power and more money than those who are trying to resist it. And so we're always up against a heavy ratio, and the fact the opposite side has more power than we do.

In 1965, Mander married feminist author Anica Vesel Mander (b. 1934, d. 2002-06-19). They had two sons, Kai Maxim Mander and Yari David Mander. Although the Manders divorced in 1982, they remained close friends for the rest of Anica's life. Jerry Mander has lived in Bolinas, California
Bolinas, California
Bolinas formerly Juggville is a coastal unincorporated community in Marin County, California in the San Francisco Bay Area. Bolinas is located west-southwest of San Rafael, at an elevation of 36 feet...

 since 1977.

External links

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