Obituary: Peter Greer Osgood — Global communications leader, Army veteran, father of Darien resident
Peter Greer Osgood, 76, of Sedgwick, Maine, died in peace Saturday, July 22, at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, Maine.
Mr. Osgood was born Dec. 26, 1940, in Waltham, Massachusetts, to Katherine (Greer) and Ernest Osgood. With his younger brother Ernest, who predeceased him, he enjoyed the quintessential New England childhood in Sudbury, Massachusetts, filled with Boy Scout adventures and not a little mischief. He attended The Fenn School, Belmont Hill School and Lincoln-Sudbury High School from which he graduated in 1959.
After high school, Mr. Osgood enlisted in the US Army and was stationed in Korea. While there as a 19 year old, he saw a need and, with support from his hometown of Sudbury, started an orphanage for children of war victims. Later, he served in Vietnam as an information officer. After discharge, Mr. Osgood attended Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, graduating in three years (1965) with a bachelor’s degree in political science and journalism. Subsequently, he served as chairman of the Syracuse University communications advisory board.
Peter Osgood was a pioneer and leading authority in the field of global communications and investor relations. His 50-year career in public relations began in Boston with Newsome & Co., becoming a major shareholder and CEO. He was past director and national president of the National Investor Relations Institute and a member of the NIRI Roundtable, as well as former chairman and president of the Public Relations Society of America. After selling Newsome and assuming the presidency of Carl Byoir & Associates, Inc., he served as Byoir’s CEO. When Byoir merged with Hill & Knowlton, Inc., Peter served as vice chairman international of H&K. He left the agency to found Osgood, O’Donnell and Walsh. At the end of his career, Mr. Osgood was owner of Osgood Global, Ltd, with a passport that reflected a lifetime of world travel.
Mr. Osgood’s skills as a strategic thinker benefited the many non-profit organizations for which he served. Most notably, over the course of his life he sat on the boards of the Joslin Diabetes Center, Junior Achievement Worldwide and the Business Council for the United Nations. As a director of The Sky Club, atop the then Pan Am Building, he enjoyed a chilled gimlet, followed by Dover sole, overlooking the Manhattan skyline.
Professional accomplishments aside, Mr. Osgood loved skiing and sailing, building anything from a dollhouse to garden trellises, a postprandial hand of gin rummy with a cold Heineken — and, most of all, his family. He is survived by his wife, Carol, of Bridgeport and Sedgwick, Maine, two daughters and their spouses, Greer (Taryn) McCarthy of Darien, and Blaire (William) Bernard of Wenham, Massachusetts, two step-sons Brooks (Enzii) Jessup of Berkeley California, and Alex Jessup of Los Angeles, California. Mr. Osgood also leaves behind four adored grandchildren, Marley, Stewart, Osgood and Evelyn.
A private memorial service will take place in Connecticut in the fall.