Edward Bernays Birthday & Fun Facts

Height, Age, Net Worth, Biography & More

Oluniyi Akande
Jan 31, 2024 By Oluniyi Akande
Originally Published on Jun 24, 2022
Here, at Kidadl, you will learn all the exciting facts about the father of public relations, Edward Bernays.
All ages
Read time: 8.3 Min

About Edward Bernays

Edward Louis Bernays was born in Vienna, Austria, on November 22, 1891.

Bernays was a distinguished American theorist, widely considered to be a pioneer of propaganda and public relations. Edward Bernays' obituary refers to him as the father of public relations.

Shortly after his birth, in 1892, Bernays' family moved to the United States. He completed his school education at DeWitt Clinton High School and later studied Agriculture at Cornell University.

During his lifetime, Edward Bernays organized several campaigns, including his promotion of the United Fruit Company, which helped the CIA to put a stop to the Guatemala Revolution (1944-1954), and Torches of Freedom, which used the American first-wave of feminism to increase the sales of cigarettes.

Bernays also penned some revolutionary books that changed the field of public relations once and for all. These include titles such as 'Crystallizing Public Opinion', 'Propaganda', 'The Business Of Propaganda', 'Future Of Private Enterprise In The Post-War World', 'The Engineering Of Consent', 'Psychological Blueprint For The Peace', and 'Public Relations'. In addition to that, Bernays also wrote several important articles in some famous American journals. 'The Bookman' published his 'The Minority Rules'; 'The American Journal of Sociology' published 'Manipulating Public Opinion: The Why And The How'; and 'Industrial And Labor Relations Review' published 'An Educational Program For Union'.

Moreover, Bernays was related to Sigmund Freud. He was the nephew of the world-renowned psychoanalyst. From 1922-1980, Bernays was married to Doris Fleishman. The famous American theorist was also the father of two children; Anne Bernays and Doris Held.

Edward Bernays Net Worth, Earnings & Spending Habits

What was Edward Bernays’ net worth?

Shortly after his graduation, Bernays worked for companies including Louis Dreyfus and Company and the New York City Produce Exchange. Subsequently, he worked as a co-editor for 'Dietetic and Hygienic Gazette' and 'Medical Review of Reviews' and as a creative press agent for several theatrical performances and performers. Finally, he joined the CPI (Committee on Public Information) during World War I as the Bureau of Latin-American Affairs. Over the years, Bernays became known as the father of public relations and had an estimated net worth of $11 million at the time of his death in 1995.

How much did Edward Bernays earn per year?

According to reports, Edward Bernays used to earn about $400,000 per year. Bernays' primary source of income was his career as a public relations counsel.

Throughout his life, Bernays worked with several high-profile clients, such as the Lithuanian Government, the US War Department, president Calvin Coolidge, CBS, the American Tobacco Company, Venida hairnets, General Motors, Procter & Gamble, Columbia University, Dodge Motors, the United Fruit Company, the Public Health Service, and the General Electric.

The famous theorist had an annual income of $100,000 in 1948 while working for the United Fruit Company.

Height, Age & Physical Attributes

How tall was Edward Bernays?

Unfortunately, not much is known about Edward Bernays' physical attributes.

How old was Edward Bernays?

The great American theorist was born on November 22, 1891, and passed away on March 9, 1995. Bernays was 103 years old at the time of his death.

Childhood And Education

Bernays was born Edward Louis Bernays into a Jewish family in Vienna, Austria-Hungary, in 1891. His parents were Anna Freud, the sister of Sigmund Freud, and Ely Bernays.

Bernays' father, Ely Bernays, was a grain exporter who used to work at the Manhattan Produce Exchange. Shortly after his birth, in 1892, Anna Freud took her children and joined her husband in the United States. Bernays went to DeWitt Clinton High School and completed his graduation somewhere in the 1900s. Following that, he enrolled at Cornell University to study Agriculture. Bernays finished his college education in 1912.

Bernays started working as a journalist for the National Nurseryman shortly after his graduation. Subsequently, he followed in his father's footsteps and joined the New York City Produce Exchange as a grain exporter. The job took him to Paris, where he worked for Louis Dreyfus and Company. However, soon he left the job and returned to New York.

Upon his return, Bernays began working with Fred Robinson, a school friend, as a co-editor of 'Dietetic and Hygienic Gazette' and 'Medical Review of Reviews'. Reports say they used to distribute the magazines for free across the country to thousands of physicians.

Shortly after, Bernays and Robinson wrote a positive review of 'Damaged Good'. It is the translation of a drama by the French writer and playwright Eugène Brieux, 'Les Avariés'. Even though the drama seemed controversial to many, Bernays called it a play of propaganda that intended to fight for sex education.

Following this, Bernays founded a sociological fun committee named after the magazine, 'Medical Review of Reviews'. The committee received support from people including Eleanor Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John Haynes Holmes, Anna Harriman Sands Rutherford Vanderbilt, and John F. Rockefeller Jr.

Family, Romance, And Relationships

Who was Edward Bernays’ partner?

Bernays was a married person. His wife, Doris Fleischman, was a famous American public relations executive, feminist activist, and writer. She was best known as the vice president of Lucy Stone League, a prominent women's rights organization, where she worked alongside the likes of Doris Stevens, Fannie Hurst, Anna M. Kross, and Jane Grant. Fleischman is also the author of the 1955 memoir, 'A Wife Is Many Women' and the 1977 poetry collection, 'Progression'.

Even though it is unknown where and when Bernays and Fleischman first met, it is known that in 1919 they started working together. Three years later, in 1922, they got married. In 1962, the pair moved to Cambridge, and their marriage came to an end in 1980, with her unfortunate death.

Together, Fleischman and Bernays had two children; Doris Bernays and Anne Bernays.

Career And Professional Highlights

Best Known For…

Before becoming a public relations counsel, Bernays worked as an editor and press agent for theatrical performances and personalities. However, his career took a different turn during World War I, when he was hired by the CPI (Committee on Public Information) as the Bureau of South-American Affairs. During this time, he worked alongside Lieutenant F. E. Ackerman to build support for war both abroad and domestically. Bernays later coined the phase, 'psychological warfare', to describe this operation.

After the war, CPI included Bernays in its publicity group consisting of 16 members. As a part of this group, Bernays represented CPI at the Paris Peace Conference.

Bernays' career as a public relations counsel began at this moment in 1919 and spanned until 1963.

In 1924, Bernays entered the political scenario of the United States. At first, he worked for former president Calvin Coolidge. It is reported that Bernays used some high-profile entertainers, such as Raymond Hitchcock, the Dolly Sisters, and Al Jolson, to change Coolidge's stuffy image before the 1924 presidential election.

During the 1932 presidential election, Herbert Hoover also sought Bernays' assistance. The great public relations counsel advised Hoover to present himself as an invincible leader and to create disunity among the opposition. Bernays' advice worked like a charm, helping Hoover become the 31st President of the United States.

Apart from that, he worked for the former Mayor of New York City, William O'Dwyer, helped India's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, to improve the country's foreign relations, and advised the US Army, Navy, and Information Agency during World War II.

Bernays also worked for numerous non-profit institutions throughout his career. Some of them include the Jewish Mental Health Society, the New York Infirmary for Women and Children, the Friends of Danish Freedom and Democracy, the Book Publishers Research Institute, and the Committee on Publicity Methods in Social Work.

Perhaps the biggest challenge of Bernays' career was to work for the United Fruit Company. Bernays joined the company and worked there for almost 20 years. During this period, Bernays increased the profit and sales of United Fruit and made the brand more popular. However, his responsibilities were not limited to only fame and finances. Instead, Bernays played an instrumental role in the CIA's victory over Guatemala's democratically elected President, Juan Jacobo Árbenz Guzmán. Following this incident, Carlos Castillo Armas came to power and the 1944-1954 Guatemala Revolution came to an end.

Bernays published around 20 books in his lifetime. The first was published in 1917 and was titled 'The Broadway Anthology' and was co-written by Edward Louis Bernays, Walter J. Kingsley, Samuel Hoffenstein, and Mudrock Pemberton.

The next, 'Crystallizing Public Opinion', was published in 1923, in New York, by Boni and Liveright.

In 1927, Bernays published 'A Public Relations Counsel' and 'Verdict Of Public Opinion On Propaganda'. The following year, he launched one of his most successful books 'Propaganda'. In this book, the famous theorist explained his philosophy. According to him, the masses are always driven by things and ideas beyond their conscious comprehension. Thus, the minds of the masses should be manipulated by the few capable and intelligent ones. For Bernays, this act of manipulation is essential in a democratic society.

His next publication was 'Every American Citizen'. The book was published in 1940 in New York by Viking Press. In 1942, Bernays published 'Future Of Private Enterprise In The Post-War World', and 'Democratic Leadership In Total War' came out the following year.

He then published the 1945 book, 'Public Relations' and the 1955 essay, 'The Engineering Of Consent'. The latter was first published in 'Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science in 1947. In 1955, the University of Oklahoma Press printed it in the form of a book.

Other Interesting Edward Bernays Facts And Trivia

Before joining CPI, Bernays tried to enter the US Army. However, due to some medical reasons, he was rejected for military service.

In 1923, New York University invited Bernays to deliver lectures on public relations. It made him the first person in the world to teach public relations as a college course.

Even though Bernays had worked for several cigarette companies early in his career, he was completely against smoking in the '60s. Reports say that he even participated in many anti-smoking campaigns.

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Edward Bernays Birthday & Fun Facts Facts

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Written by Oluniyi Akande

Doctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

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Oluniyi AkandeDoctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

With an accomplished background as a Veterinarian, SEO content writer, and public speaker, Oluniyi brings a wealth of skills and experience to his work. Holding a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan, he provides exceptional consulting services to pet owners, animal farms, and agricultural establishments. Oluniyi's impressive writing career spans over five years, during which he has produced over 5000 high-quality short- and long-form pieces of content. His versatility shines through as he tackles a diverse array of topics, including pets, real estate, sports, games, technology, landscaping, healthcare, cosmetics, personal loans, debt management, construction, and agriculture.

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