Hospitality Industry PR Leader David “Jerry” Daly Dies at 78

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David “Jerry” Daly

ASHBURN, Virginia — Officials of DG Public Relations, LLC, today announced the death of company co-founder, David “Jerry” Daly on January 11, 2023, due to complications arising from aspiration pneumonia.

While in graduate school at Boston University, Daly helped create the first Great American Smokeout, originally designed as a scholarship fundraiser for a local high school before he came up with the idea to get people to donate the price of a pack of cigarettes as the first step toward a commitment to quit smoking.

Daly’s first job out of undergraduate school was public relations director for the Tulsa Area Chapter of the American Red Cross. While there he worked on a promotion that resulted in one of the largest and most successful blood drives up until that point. He later worked for multiple public relations agencies, including Burson-Marstellar and Harshe‐Rotman & Druck, before entering the hospitality sector with Holiday Inn and Harrah’s.

Daly founded Daly Gray Public Relations, LLC, the predecessor of DG Public Relations, LLC, in 1987. During his career at that company, he was directly responsible for and/or oversaw multiple industry milestones: the first hotel crisis communications plan; the first hotel property-level Twitter campaign; the launch of more than a dozen hotel brands; the industry white paper on paper clip REITs; empowering women and minorities through hiring, mentorship, and educational programs; winning more than 50 international, national, and regional awards, including the Silver Anvil and four Golden Quills; and hosting the first world-wide employee meeting via satellite. He also took great pride in being named Honorary Duck Master at the Peabody Hotel and winning a lifetime achievement award at the 20th annual Lodging Conference in Phoenix, Ariz.

Born Feb. 3, 1944, Daly is survived by his bride of 53 years, Katheryn; his children, Chris, Jason, Shannon, Patrick, and Andrew; and his grandchildren, Finn and Lilah.

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