MAYER--David. David Mayer died from complications of a stroke on November 28, 2012 at the age of 100. Adored son of Gizella (nee Suranyi) and Ferenc Mayer and beloved husband of Blanche (nee Eisnitz), who predeceased him. He is survived by his daughters Susan and Deborah (Edward) and his grandchildren Dan (Kathryn), Julia (Saul) and Ben. The son of Hungarian immigrants, he was born in a Yorkville tenement and grew up in the tight-knit community of the First Hungarian Independent Lodge. In 1929 he graduated from the High School of Commerce and went to work as a printer's devil. He worked in advertising as an art director and production manager until he enlisted in the Army in 1942. A First Lieutenant, he was stationed in North Africa as a field artillery officer before being transferred to PWB (Psychological Warfare Bureau) headquarters in Bari, where he worked as a journalist and editor. He was a front line correspondent at the end of the Italian Campaign and was chosen to take the first PW team into Vienna when the Russians opened the city to joint Allied control. After the war he went into marketing and in 1952 was hired as Grey's first Director of Marketing & Sales Development. He left Grey to work as Director of Advertising for Coty in 1958 and remained in the fragrance industry for over 20 years. He was particularly proud of his role in the development and launch of Vivara while VP of Emilio Pucci Perfumes. He was an artist, a writer and a reader, an armchair astronomer, a daunting chess player, a graceful dancer and a weekend sailor. A lifelong cineaste, he founded the Cinema Guild (the first foreign film society in New York) in the early 1930s, and screened 35mm French, Russian and American avant-garde films at the 92nd Street Y. His book "Eisenstein's Potemkin," a shot-by-shot recreation and analysis of the film, was published in 1972. He was modest and unpretentious, intuitive and reflective, decent, loving and loyal. A gentle man who enjoyed deep and lasting friendships, he will always be an inspiration to those who knew and loved him.
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Published in The New York Times on Feb. 17, 2013