CU alumnus and 'Ithaca Is Gorges' sloganeer Howard S. Cogan dies at age 78

Well-known advertising executive, teacher of advertising and public relations and longtime Ithaca resident Howard S. Cogan '50, MPS '80, died Feb. 16 with his family at his bedside at Oak Hill Manor in Ithaca after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. He was 78.

Cogan was the founder of Cogan Associates, a communications consulting firm that served local and regional business, financial and institutional clients and several national trade associations. His voice was well known to area radio and television audiences as spokesperson for a number of regional clients, and his famous "Ithaca Is Gorges" slogan with its stylized waterfall "I" logo, has been seen around the world.

Cogan earned his A.B. from Cornell in 1950 and his Master of Professional Studies in communication in 1980. He was a principal and executive vice president of the Communications Support Group Inc. from 1975 to 2003, providing marketing services to school districts, colleges and universities, educational associations and other not-for-profit organizations.

After earning his master's degree, he also taught advertising and public relations at Ithaca College, rising to the rank of associate professor in the Roy H. Park School of Communications. He helped found and served as adviser to the college's chapters of the American Advertising Federation (AAF) and the Public Relations Student Society of America. Among numerous awards, he received AAF's Educator of the Year in 1987, and in 2005, the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce and the Ithaca/Tompkins County Convention and Visitor's Bureau gave Cogan a Lifetime Achievement Award and created an annual award in his name for important contributions to tourism and community service in the region.

Cogan is survived by his wife, Helen Snyder Cogan, and numerous extended family members. His funeral took take place Feb. 18.

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