John E. Horton

Government liason for film industry

John E. Horton, who for more than 50 years served as liaison between the U.S. government and the film and TV businesses, died of liver failure at his Seabrook Island, South Carolina home Sunday . He was 87.

A memorial service will be held at St. John’s Episcopal Church on John’s Island, S.C. Thursday, June 8 at 3 p.m.

In Washington, D.C., he served as a consultant to the film industry for government relations, consulting on films including “Top Gun,” “The Hunt for Red October,” “A Few Good Men,” and “In the Line of Fire.”

Horton began his entertainment career in 1946, holding various executive and production roles with Warner Bros, Universal, Paramount and 20th Century Fox; he also headed Australian company UAA Films.

Born in Davenport, Iowa Horton served in WWII and in 1948 was appointed chief of motion pictures for the department of Army public relations, and in a similar capacity in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for public affairs. He was also a military aide to the White House during the Harry S. Truman administration. 

He also served as managing director of international public relations with Doremus and Company, handling P.R. for foreign governments. His client list included the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, where he wrote speeches for King Hussein for his U.S. visits, the Republic of Egypt, the Republic of the Philippines and the Foreign Ministry of Japan. He served as a consultant to the Coca Cola Company for their Middle Eastern interests, and was a longtime consultant in the defense industry.

Horton is survived by two daughters; a son; and three grandchildren.

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