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DON Durgin ’45

Published in Mar. 24, 2004, issue

Don Durgin died Dec. 26, 2003, from a brain aneurysm.

He prepared for Princeton at Hotchkiss and was one of our most illustrious classmates in his profession of media entertainment. At Princeton, he joined Elm Club, was editorial chairman of the Daily Princetonian, and a member of Triangle Club.

His Princeton career was interrupted by service with the 8th Air Force, when he flew combat missions over Germany as a B-17 bombardier. After receiving his degree summa cum laude in 1947, he worked in advertising before joining NBC, then worked briefly at ABC before returning permanently to NBC in 1957, where for almost two decades he occupied one important position after another. Eventually, he became president of NBC-TV and executive vice president of NBC.

Leaving NBC in 1975, he returned to advertising as president of McCaffrey & McCall, and finished his career as executive vice president of Dunn & Bradstreet, and then as vice chair at Newsweek, finally retiring in 2001. After serving as '45's president from 1975-80, Don mentored every successive group of class officers.

Sorrow came to Don when Tess, his wife of more than 30 years, died during a trip to Morocco in 1981. He subsequently married Catherine Meacham, who shared in his many Princeton activities in later years.

In addition to Catherine, Don is survived by his daughter, Hillary Harmon '85, son William Ryerson Durgin II, and four grandchildren, to all of whom the class expresses its deep sympathy.

The Class of 1945

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