Howard Bell

Obituary of Howard Bell

Howard Hughes Bell, 91, of Oakland, MD and Naples, FL died on Saturday, August 26, 2017, in Naples.  Born on June 27, 1926, in New York, he was the son of the late Elizabeth Hughes Bell.

He was a veteran of the United States Navy. He was a member of St. Matthews Episcopal Church in Oakland, MD.  He held a journalism degree from the University of Missouri with a major in advertising and a Juris Doctorate degree from Catholic University Law School.  He was a member of the Bar of the State of Maryland, the U.S. Supreme Court Bar, the Federal Communications Bar Association, and the American Bar Association.  For over twenty years, he was the owner, along with his son, Jeff, of Tips Up Ski Shop, in McHenry, MD.  He had served on the board of the Garrett Lakes Arts Festival, member of the board and president of the Garrett Rural Information Cooperative (GC Net), was a member of the board of Mountain Laurel Medical Center, and the United Way of Garrett County executive committee.

Howard served as a leading spokesman for the advertising industry for 24 years as president and CEO of the American Advertising Federation. Upon his retirement in January 1992, he was named President Emeritus on the AAF board of directors and President of the Federation’s educational foundation.  In 1996, he was inducted into the Advertising Hall of Fame in recognition of his leadership role in advancing the freedom to advertise, as well as advertising education and industry self-regulation.  Early in his career at the American Advertising Federation, he advocated and was a chief architect of the advertising industry self-regulatory program (NARB/NAD), which has successfully operated since 1971. He served as chairman of the National Advertising Review Board in New York.

He joined the Washington, D.C. law firm of Wiley Rein & Fielding LLP in 1992, where he continued to pursue his legal expertise on advertising issues, and participated in a number of U.S. Supreme Court commercial speech cases in which the High Court ruled in favor of First Amendment protection for advertising.

He began his career as sales promotion manager for WMAL AM-FM/TV in Washington, D.C.  In 1951, he moved to the National Association of Broadcasters and served as assistant to the President and later director of the NAB Code Authority.

He has served numerous industry organizations in many capacities including The Advertising Council board of directors and executive committee; vice chairman of the board of directors of the American Society of Association Executives; director of the National Advertising Review Council, the Advertising Educational Foundation, the American Advertising Museum advisory board, the Smithsonian Advertising Center board, James Webb Young Foundation of the University of Illinois, public relations committee of Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the U.S. Information Agency marketing advisory committee.  His memberships also include the Union League Club in NYC, Congressional Country Club, Bethesda, MD and a member of Wyndermere Country Club in Naples, FL. 

In 1984, Howard received the Honor Award and Gold Medal for distinguished service in journalism from the University of Missouri School of Journalism in recognition of his “…more than three decades as a catalyst, conscience and counsel for the profession of advertising…”  He was also the recipient of the Key Award, the highest honor in the association community, from the American Society of Association Executives for his leadership in the field of association management.  Advertising Age magazine named him one of the 100 most influential advertising leaders of the 20th Century.  Howard had meetings at the White House with every administration from JFK to Clinton and his caricature was proudly displayed on the wall of the Palm Restaurant in Washington D.C.

He is survived by two daughters, Laurinda Louise "Laurie" Bell O’Rourke and husband Philip Gerard O'Rourke of Kapaa, HI and Mary Elizabeth “Mebs” Bell of Oakland; daughter in law, Susan Rushing Bell of Swanton; granddaughter, Amanda Elizabeth Bell and her companion Joshua Matthew Rueter of Boise, ID; a grandson, Anthony "Blair" Guardia of Nagano, Japan; a dear cousin, Kate Ashton of Los Angeles; and his beloved dog, Rascal.  In addition to his mother, he was preceded in death by his sister Emma Margaret "Tina" Rebuelta, her husband  Poncho-Francisco "Poncho" Pablo Rebuelta; and his dear son, Jeffrey Chandler Bell.  Last and most importantly, he was preceded in death by the love of his life, his wife of over 61 years, Corinne “Chan” (Chandler) Bell. 

He will be deeply missed by his family, friends and co-workers.  But they will all take comfort that he is now and forever reunited with Chan.  It is once again as it should be, "Chavo and Chan."

Friends will be received at the C & S FREDLOCK FUNERAL HOME, P.A., 21 N 2nd St., Oakland on Monday, September 11th from 5 to 8 PM.  A memorial service will be held in St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 126 E Liberty St., Oakland on Tuesday, September 12th at 10 AM with Rev. Dr. Chip Lee officiating.  In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Parkinson Assoc. of Southwest Florida, 5926 Premier Way, Suite 114, Naples, FL 34109.