In Remembrance: Everett H. Erlick ’48LLB Died on March 8 2019

Everett H. Erlick, a distinguished veteran of the broadcast industry and longtime public servant, passed away at the age of 97 on March 8, 2019, in his home in Stuart, Florida.

As executive vice president, general counsel and director of the American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. for 25 years, his expansive portfolio of responsibilities included oversight of all legal aspects of the corporation’s government relations and its Washington office. Serving as ABC’s chief lawyer,  Erlick helped build the company into a political and cultural powerhouse alongside former network president Leonard Goldenson. Erlick’s outstanding contributions to the broadcast industry were acknowledged in 1980, when he was presented with the Grover C. Cobb Memorial Award, given annually to a broadcaster who demonstrates exceptional dedication to the improvement of the industry’s relationship with the national government. Upon his retirement in 1985 after helping lead the negotiations for ABC’s sale to Capital Cities,  Erlick’s exemplary career and service were acknowledged by John D. Dingell, the longest-serving member of Congress in US history, who entered Broadcasting magazine’s tribute to Erlick into the Congressional Record. Prior to joining ABC, Inc., Erlick served as vice president in the radio television department of Young & Rubicam, Inc. 

Erlick’s extensive civic contributions ranged from national desegregation efforts to environmental conservation, and he worked closely with five different presidential administrations. He served as a member of President Kennedy’s Business Advisory Committee on Desegregation, collaborating with Attorney General Robert Kennedy in his courageous  work to desegregate movie theaters in the South. Later, he was a member of President Johnson’s National Citizens Committee for Community Relations. Erlick also served as a member of the Campaign Committee of the American Cancer Society, and he became the first national chairman of the Parents Committee of Duke University at the request of former University President Terry Sanford. A lifelong fly-fisher, he was passionate about preserving the environment, and he served on the board of trustees of the Everglades Foundation for many years. Erlick held several fly-fishing world records and was fortunate enough to fish in more than 15 countries during his lifetime. He continued to fish in the waters surrounding his home in Florida until the age of 94.

A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Erlick graduated from Vanderbilt University, where he was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Society. Shortly thereafter, he entered military service. Erlick served in the Air Force during the Second World War and held the rank of first lieutenant as a member of the Radar Standardization Board. Following the war, he attended Yale Law School and was elected to the Law School Society of Corbey Court.

He is survived by his loving wife, Nancy Ruth Jacobs; their two children, son James and daughter Lorre; James’s wife Laura; and his four grandchildren, Nikki Erlick, Landy Erlick, Alexander Brenner, and Maxwell Brenner. Donations should be sent to: Cancer Center of South Florida, 4801 S. Congress Avenue, Suite 201, Lake Worth, FL 33461 (please note in memory of Everett Erlick).

—Submitted by the family. 

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