Jerry Mander

Biography of Jerry Mander

Jerold Irwin "Jerry" Mander (born May 1, 1936) is an American activist and author, best known for his 1977 book, Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television. His most recent book, The Capitalism Papers, is about the momentous and unsolvable environmental and social problem of capitalism.

Mander was born in the Bronx, New York City to Harry and Eva Mander. Mander's parents were an immigrant Jewish couple who struggled to achieve success in America.

Curiously, success came to him during the Depression. He founded what later became Harry Mander and Company, a small service business to the garment industry, manufacturing pipings, waist bands, pocketing and collar canvas.

One of the reasons for my father's success during hard times was World War II. He was beyond draft age and so was free to do a successful trade in servicing the manufacture of military uniforms. After the war, the business grew in new directions as the economy spurted forward into an era of rapid growth.

The Mander family moved from the Bronx to a semi-rural area of Yonkers, New York, when Jerry was at an early age. Jerry grew up there, and says "I was a golf star throughout my youth and that was what I wanted to be, a professional golfer when I was very young."

Mander earned a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, then an M.S. in International Economics from Columbia University’s Business School.

After receiving his M.S., Mander worked in advertising for 15 years, including five as partner and president of Freeman, Mander & Gossage in San Francisco. Mander worked with the noted environmentalist, David Brower, managing the Sierra Club's advertising campaigns to prevent the construction of dams in the Grand Canyon, to establish Redwood National Park, and to stop the U.S. Supersonic Transport (SST) project. In 1971 he founded the first non-profit advertising agency in the United States, Public Interest Communications.

Mander was the executive director of the International Forum on Globalization, which he founded in 1994, until 2009 and continues to serve on its staff as a Distinguished Fellow. He is also the program director for Megatechnology and Globalization at the Foundation for Deep Ecology. Mander is sometimes said to be part of the Neo-Luddite movement.

In 2007 Jerry Mander appeared in the full-length documentary film, What a Way to Go: Life at the End of Empire.
In an interview with's W. David Kubiak, Mander describes how he got into advertising and how he turned it to the service of social causes.

In 1965, Mander married feminist author Anica Vesel Mander (b. 1934, d. 2002-06-19). They had two sons, Kai Maxim Mander and Yari David Mander. Although the Manders divorced in 1982, they remained close friends for the rest of Anica's life. Jerry Mander has lived in Bolinas, California since 1977.

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