James Abernathy
James Abernathy

Jim Abernathy, founder/executive chairman of Abernathy MacGregor, died Nov. 17. He was 78.

The Kansas City native launched Abernathy MacGregor in 1984 with Jim MacGregor. The shop, which currently has more than 70 staffers in New York, Washington, Houston, Los Angeles and San Francisco, became part of Havas in 2000.

Prior to AM, Abernathy edited broadcasting trade magazines and held PR/IR posts at ABC, CBS and Warner Communications.

He served as overseer of the Brown University School of Medicine, trustee of The Hackley School, director of The World Policy Institute, president of Investor Relations Association, director of Episcopal Charities and a founder of Americans for Humanitarian Trade with Cuba.

Abernathy chaired The Caron Foundation of New York City and The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence.

In his role at Caron Foundation, Abernathy helped to establish an alcohol and drug treatment program in the former Soviet Union in 1988, as well as the first “western” alcohol and drug treatment center in that country. In 1994, he assisted in introducing that same program in Cuba.

Memorial donations may be made to The Caron Foundation at Caron.org.