David Mackenzie Ogilvy (23 June 1911 – 21 July 1999), CBE, was an advertising executive who was widely hailed as "The Father of Advertising". In 1962, Time called him "the most sought-after wizard in today's advertising industry".
David Mackenzie Ogilvy was born on 23 June 1911 at West Horsley, Surrey in England. His mother, Dorothy Blow Fairfield, was Anglo-Irish. His father, Francis John Longley Ogilvy (c. 1867 - 1943) was a Gaelic-speaking Highlander from Scotland who was a classics scholar and a financial broker. Ogilvy attended St Cyprian's School, Eastbourne, on reduced fees because of his father's straitened circumstances and won a scholarship at age thirteen to Fettes College, in Edinburgh. In 1929, he again won a scholarship, this time in History to Christ Church, Oxford.
Without the scholarships, Ogilvy would not have been able to attend Fettes or Oxford University because his father's business was badly hit by the depression of the mid-1920s. His studies were not successful, however, and he left Oxford for Paris in 1931 where he became an apprentice chef in the Hotel Majestic. After a year, he returned to Scotland and started selling AGA cooking stoves, door-to-door. His success at this marked him out to his employer, who asked him to write an instruction manual, The Theory and Practice of Selling the AGA Cooker, for the other salesmen. Thirty years later, Fortune magazine editors called it the finest sales instruction manual ever written...
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