NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – Peter Mayer, a prominent New Orleans ad exec whose life “was the definition of the American dream come true,” died Thursday at his home, surrounded by his family. He was 86.
Mayer moved from Germany to New Orleans in 1935, fleeing Nazi Germany with his mother and father when he was 6 years old. He spoke no English when he arrived in New Orleans.
He went to New Orleans public schools and graduated from the University of Missouri’s journalism school. He started his career in the circulation department at The Times-Picayune, then went on to work for two New Orleans ad agencies before starting Peter Mayer Advertising in 1967.
Known as the man who never had a bad day, he was involved in several New Orleans causes, including WYES, The Vieux Carré Commission, LSU Manship School of Mass Communication, The United Way, The Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans and The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, among others.
“For many years, he held court on the sidewalk of Camp Street smoking a cigar after lunch in a director’s chair,” his obituary says. “He had conversations with all who passed by and always saw the best in people and situations. It was said that he didn’t have a bad day in his life. On weekends, he was often found at his cabin on the pond in Lumberton, Mississippi, feeding birds, catching fish and cursing beavers.”
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