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Ira Morten

Ira Morten was a retired advertising executive, newspaper columnist and author. Born May 29, 1921 in Chicago, Illinois. Ira began his professional life in the mid-1940s after graduating from the University of Illinois at Urbana -Champaign. Within the first decade of his career, he had worked for Time, Inc., the Jones Frankel advertising agency, Esquire and McCall’s Magazines, all in Chicago; became a syndicated newspaper columnist writing about the-then “new” medium of television in a column called “Watching All Channels” and had written a book entitled “The Red Grange Story,” published by G.P. Putnam & Sons. In 1952, he married Beryl Schubert. They relocated to Phoenix and in 1961, Ira opened an advertising agency here. He successfully led the agency for nearly 40 years. His clients included John F. Long Homes, Mortgages Ltd., Regal Homes, Fletcher Jones Chevrolet, Bill Luke Chrysler-Plymouth, Fann Toyota, Canyon Ford, Village Inn Pizza and Scott Toyota. For some of these clients, he also appeared in their television commercials that he wrote, produced and directed. He was active in community organizations as well, including the Arizona Jewish Historical Society and long ago, Little League and the North Phoenix Corporate Ministry, a mutually supported interfaith association composed of two synagogues, a Catholic church and five Protestant churches and their clergy. In the 1970s and ’80s, he also wrote two regular columns for The Phoenix Gazette: “Moment of Glory,” about the accomplishments of sports heroes, and “Yesterday’s Headline,” about great moments in national and world history. In 1971, he served as president of the local chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and he wrote and hosted a series of informational commercials about the value of television that were broadcast nationally. The tag line of the commercials was “What has television done for you lately? Keep watching; it’ll come to you.” Ira finally semi-retired in 2000. In the years since, he continued providing advertising services as needed for select clients and wrote a column for Jewish News of Greater Phoenix. His warmth, wit and sense of humor were greatly appreciated by all who knew him. Ira passed away on January 4, 2008. He was preceded in death by his wife Beryl, to whom he was married for 50 years.