Joe Epley
Joe Epley

Joe Epley, who built his firm into one of the largest PR shops in the southeast and was president of PRSA, died Nov. 5. He was 85.

Epley established Epley Associates in 1968 and was a founding partner of Worldcom Public Relations Group network of independent firms.

He was national president of PRSA and chaired the PRSA Foundation twice. He also has served as chair of the PRSA College of Fellows and the Counselors Academy.

Epley served in the Army before launching his professional communications career as a TV news reporter and editor in Asheville and Charlotte.

He is remembered as a strong advocate for social responsibility and ethical business behavior. He presented a study in 1993 to the Defense Information School on ethics, which is credited for putting professional ethics standards in the military PA sector.

PRSA awarded Epley, who sold his firm in 2005, its highest honor, the Gold Anvil, in 2008.