The Woodward Alumni Hall of Fame Association
Norman Wolfe Inducted 1988 - Class of 1944
Norman Wolfe, a 1944 graduate of Woodward High School, has enjoyed an award-winning newspaper career followed by the co-founding and building of one of the nation's largest public relations companies. Cohn & Wolfe today is the18th largest firm in the United States, with offices in New York City and Atlanta, Georgia. It was founded in 1970 and, in 1984, merged with Burson-Marsteller, the largest communications company In the world. Its clients Include. Coca-Cola USA and Coca-Cola Enterprises, Federal Express, Marriott Hottel Corporation, Philip Morris, Turner Broadcasting, The Portman Companies, Alfred Dunhill, Hasbro, Colgate, Mastercard, Western Union, among others.
Cohn & Wolfe directed major programs for Coca-Cola and Federal Express during the Winter Olympics at Calgary and will do so during the Summer Games in Seoul, Korea. It will also be the agency for the Goodwill Games in Seattle. Norman Wolfe was President of this firm for 14 years and is currently Vice Chairman of the Board. He is also Senior Vice President of its patent company.
During his newspaper days, he was a reporter, columnist, editor, and publishing executive. He has been Executive Editor of the Orlando (Florida) SENTINEL, a 300,000-circulation daily newspaper and later was Assistant to the President of the Florida Publishing Company, which publishes several daily newspapers in the South.
He began his newspaper career as a sports reporter for the old TOLEDOTIMES a few months after graduation from Woodward. During his high schooldays, he was a stringer for the TIMES covering Homer Hanham's Polar Bears ,the Toledo Federation football and basketball leagues, and "whatever other assignments they dole out to an eager, hungry kid."
Norman recalls that era vividly and fondly. "We had a three-man sports staff at the TIMES: Tom Bolger, Ernie Curley, and me. And that's in order of importance. Those were the best of all learning days for me. Guys were starting to come back from service during the two years I was at the TIMES and you learned lifelong writing disciplines from people like Tom Bolger, Doc Holst, Don Wolfe, Bill Rosenberg, Jesse Long, John McGowan, and others. Newspaper guys were stars then, something like the television people are today. I still remember how impressed my mother was when I casually dropped the fact that I knew Mitch Woodbury."
Wolfe left the TIMES to enroll full time at the University of Toledo where he became editor-in-chief of the campus COLLEGIAN, winning a state-wide award for Ohio's best college weekly; was twice elected to the Student Senate; edited and published the university's first humor magazine; edited an independent newspaper called "The Spectator;" and was a member of many organizations, including the Blue Key National Honorary Society. During most of his college days, he wrote and directed a radio dramatic series on WTOD, which starred his lifelong friend, Andrew J. Fenady, a 1986 Inductee into the Woodward Hall of Fame. After graduation in 1950, Norman served two years in the Army during the Korean War.
Norman has served on several corporate boards and was a charter member of the Florida Newspaper Editors Association. He has held membership in the American Society of Newspaper Editors and The Associated Press Managing Editors Association. He holds numerous writing, professional and civic awards and honors, and his public relations work has been recognized by Boston University, Syracuse University, and the University of Florida, where he has been a guest lecturer. He is an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America, and is a member of the International Counselors Academy, the Overseas Press Club, the Atlanta Press Club, and the World Trade Club.
As you can see, Norman has come a long way since growing up in the North End of Toledo on Mulberry and, then, Page Streets. He is the son of Lawrence Wolfe and Eleanor Gallagher, both natives of Toledo. His sisters, Mrs. Gloria Sullivan and Mrs. Phyllis Scheuren, are both Woodward graduates and lifelong Toledoans. He has a son, Robert, co-owner of an advertising agency in Florida, and a daughter Lisa a sales representative for Southern Bell Telephone. He has one granddaughter, seven year-old Ansley Wolfe, and Norman now divides his time among Atlanta, New York City, and Florida.