William Schoen, speech writer and public-relations executive, died June 9, 2010, in Royal Oak, Mich.
Bill entered Princeton with ’42 but left as war loomed to join the Army Air Corps.
After the war he moved to Washington, D.C., where he became involved in writing assignments for the State Department promoting the Marshall Plan. This led him to work for the War Production Board and activity as a speechwriter for Charles Sawyer, head of the Department of Commerce.
In 1952 he joined Ford Motor Co. A speech written for Henry Ford II titled “The Free World Can’t Trade on a One-way Street” received wide circulation. At Ford he became director of the office of urban affairs, a position created after the 1967 riots in Detroit.
Bill’s reputation as a wordsmith and publicist continued to grow. On leave from Ford in 1966 and 1967, he joined the White House staff as a speechwriter for President Lyndon Johnson. After leaving Ford in 1976, Bill continued as a publicist with the New York firm of Jeffcoat, Schoen & Morrell, without abandoning his interests in politics, music, and photography.
To his wife, Mary; his daughter, Katherine Schoen; sons Peter, William H. IV ’68, and Mark; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren, the class sends sympathy.