A message from Vice Chairman Tom Hoog on the passing of Hill+Knowlton Strategies' Frank Mankiewicz, "a patriot, an idealist and a consummate communications professional," shared with his global colleagues earlier this morning.
Our firm and our country last night lost a patriot, an idealist and a consummate communications professional. Frank Mankiewicz, who since 1983 had been the Washington persona of Hill+Knowlton Strategies, devoted his life to public service and the public good. With Frank’s passing, we all pause to honor his commitment to the truth, his contribution to our clients, and his outstanding career in communications.
A mentor to generations of Hill+Knowlton colleagues and a trusted counselor to hundreds of clients, Frank was a close friend of mine for more than 40 years. His wisdom about public affairs, his sound judgment about forever upholding the truth, and his enduring sense of humor amid adversity inspired us all. Frank was in a league of his own as a professional and as a public servant. And, more than any other individual in Hill+Knowlton’s history, he helped shape the character of our firm.
Everyone who knew Frank benefited from his insight and reveled in his joyful sense of humor – and everyone who met him instantly recognized the clarity he brought to the toughest of challenges in public affairs. Clients esteemed his counsel and colleagues rejoiced in his company. No one ever brought more verve to a client engagement or more gusto to “fighting the good fight.”
Among Frank’s greatest strengths was his commitment to teaching the lessons he had learned, throughout his long experience in public affairs, to the rising generation of Hill+Knowlton staff members. Every conversation with Frank was a history lesson, peppered by personal recollections of Kennedys and Kings, senators and sinners, lawmakers and lawbreakers. No one enjoyed a high-spirited political yarn more than Frank did, and no one was ever quicker with a quip or a crisp comeback. A wordsmith by instinct, he readily found the precisely right word for every situation – and his wise counsel helped discover the precisely right positioning for our clients.
With his zest for “the people side” of politics and his zeal for “the public side” of public affairs, Frank wouldn’t want us to mourn today. Instead, he’d want us to remember a life fully lived and recommit ourselves to a profession he fully loved.
Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of getting to know hundreds of Hill+Knowlton friends and thousands of public affairs leaders. But, in the wide realm of public life and public service, there was only one personality as rollicking and robust as Frank Mankiewicz. Our lives are richer for having known him. We all loved him. We all esteemed him. And we all grieve for his passing.
Today, we pause to remember Frank, with all the puckish wit and all the serious substance that he devoted to our firm. Tomorrow, we’ll all go out there and – just as Frank himself would – “fight the good fight” again, remembering Frank’s irreplaceable spirit and rededicating ourselves to Frank’s inspiring ideals.