Publicity pioneer, food consultant, author, speaker, and “PR Food King”
This week, Ira spoke with Leo Pearlstein (100 years old!), founder and president of Lee & Associates, Inc., a public relations and advertising firm. In this branding episode of Ira’s Everything Bagel, Leo talks about his long career as a publicity pioneer, food consultant, author, speaker, and “PR Food King”; how he got into the business (courtesy of actor Eddie Bracken); bringing most of the family into the business; his long-time association with Mrs. Cubbison’s dressing; how he began representing food associations; working with the media; his friendship with Steve Allen; and why he always considered his work his hobby.
Leo founded Lee & Associates, Inc. in 1950. He ran the company with his partners, two of his three sons, Howard and Frank, until it closed shop in 2013. (His other son, David, is in the music industry.) Leo’s wife of 69 years, Helen, passed away in 2012 at age 91. He lives in Los Angeles, near his three sons and their families.