Clifford Dektar, a key figure in Southern California’s public relations community for more than 40 years, died Feb. 22 of natural causes. He was 90.
He was a three-term governor of the public relations branch of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences; president of the Los Angeles chapter of the Public Relations Society of America; and was elected by the Public Relations Society of America to its College of Fellows. He was also one of the founders of the Entertainment Publicists Professional Society and the Television Publicity Executives Committee; a founder of the USC Journalism Alumni Association; and a director of the Los Angeles chapter, Society of Professional Journalists.
After leaving the Los Angeles Mirror, where he had been a member of the newspaper’s original staff, he joined the staff of ABC TV’s Press Information Department in Hollywood and was responsible for the premiere of “The Rifleman,” “Man With a Camera” and “The Detectives.” Dektar was also assigned to the new ABC Sports Division, where he worked closely with Roone Arledge.
He left ABC TV for national public relations firm McFadden, Strauss, Eddy & Irwin, where he was West Coast supervisor for the 3M Company account and national Whirlpool Corporation account.
For 15 years he was in charge of publicity for country music series “Hee Haw.” He was a senior vice president for ICPR and the Lippin Group PR firms.
Dektar was a graduate of the USC School of Journalism, where he was a sports editor of the Daily Trojan. Dektar served in the Army during World War II.
He is survived by his wife, Joan; two sons; a daughter; seven grandchildren; and his sister.
A memorial service will be held March 5 at 11 a.m. at St. Michael and All Angels Church in Studio City.
Donations may be made to St. Michael and All Angels Church or the USC Annenberg Journalism Fund.