Photography

Terence A. McCarthy

August 3, 1939 ~ February 4, 2020 (age 80)

Obituary

Terence A. McCarthy died peacefully on February 4, 2020. Born in Boston on August 3, 1939, he was the son of John A. McCarthy of Randolph MA and Agnes M. Daudelin of West Roxbury MA. He is survived by his beloved wife of 54 years Marie T. McCarthy, two daughters, Rebecca M. McCarthy and Nora T. McCarthy of Boston, his sister Diane and sister-in-law Colleen McCarthy of Bourne MA and brother-in-law Joseph P. Allen of Chelmsford MA.

 

Mr. McCarthy was a graduate of Boston Latin School, received a BA from Georgetown University and an MA from Boston College. While at BC, to pay his tuition, he worked as a tower man belonging to the Order of Railroad Telegraphers for the New York Central Railroad. Prior to graduation he was recruited into the New York City office of the President of the NYCRR to write speeches for CEO Alfred E. Perlman.

 

Prior to consummation of the merger of The New York Central System with the Pennsylvania Rail Road Mr. McCarthy joined The Equitable Life Assurance Society of The U.S. in its Corporate Communications Dept. He matriculated into an MBA program at The Bernard Baruch School of Business at CCNY and subsequently joined the firm of Robert L. Bliss Inc., a small Park Ave.

Corporate/financial communications firm led by the former U.S. Representative. In addition to the client work Mr. McCarthy was soon promoted to Vice President, Treasurer & Director assuming a management role in developing new business approaches.

 

Mr. McCarthy was recruited by the New York Stock Exchange due to his familiarity with the financial industry as well as the communications experience he had accumulated. He arrived at the NYSE at the start of the huge growth in institutional investing then taking place. However, soon thereafter he was offered a position in Washington D.C. that promised a significant change in focus but would utilize much of his business and communications experience. As Associate Director of Public Information for the Public Broadcasting Service the challenges would be extraordinary and he accepted the PBS offer.

 

During the presidency of Richard Nixon, PBS faced a constant threat of reduced financial support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the group that managed the funding provided by the Federal Government to PBS. However when the Watergate Hearings began they became the focal point for a significant amount of news and PBS was providing pool coverage for many of the Hearings for the TV marketplace. Watergate began about the same time Mr. McCarthy arrived in Washington and affected PBS in many ways. Many of these changes promised to impact PBS negatively. Mr. McCarthy and his wife decided that raising children in the resulting turmoil of Washington DC could impact their family negatively. He resigned from PBS and the family moved back to Massachusetts and located their family in Cohasset.

 

Upon his return to Boston,  he was offered the presidency of  Communique Inc., a wholly owned public relations  subsidiary of  Marvin & Leonard Advertising Co. The Publicity Club of Boston awarded Communique A Bell Ringer Award for a very successful publicity campaign for a major new branded food product introduced by M&L. He was recruited from Communique by Arnold Advertising Co.to become Director of McCarthy/Arnold Communications.

 

In 1979 he joined Jack Agnew and Lew Carter to form Agnew, Carter, McCarthy Inc. Together they built ACM over 19 years to be one of the largest independent public relations firms in New England. In 1983 ACM became a member of Pinnacle Worldwide, an international corporation of independently owned public relations agencies with 50 offices around the world. In 1998 ACM was sold to a major

international advertising and public relations firm. Mr. McCarthy chose to take early retirement and left the public relations business.

 

Mr. McCarthy spent 36 years as a member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). He served on national committees of PRSA concerned with professional ethics and educational development of the profession. He was very active in the Counselors Academy and in 1988 was elected Chairman of the Academy serving public relations firms in North and Central America. Subsequently he served two terms as President of the Boston Chapter, PRSA. In 1991 PRSA elected him to be a member of the PRSA College of Fellows, an organization within PRSA. "composed of senior practitioners and educators, each of whom has left a significant footprint on the public relations profession." Election to the College is considered the pinnacle of a professional career by PRSA.

 

Mr. McCarthy served the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce as co-chair of the small business committee. He received an Honorable Discharge from the U.S. Army in 1964. He was a member of MENSA.

 

An avid lifelong reader and Red Sox fan, in retirement he enjoyed gardening, cooking, traveling, carpentry and daily walks with his loyal companion of 16 years, Emma. Upon reflection McCarthy once remarked that he would like to be remembered as "a pretty good woodworker."

 

Private Services and Interment will be held in the spring. 


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