Vance Packard (May 22, 1914 – December 12, 1996) was an American journalist, social critic, and author.
He was born in Granville Summit, Pennsylvania, to Philip J. Packard and Mabel Case Packard. Between 1920-32 he attended local public schools in State College, Pennsylvania, where his father managed a dairy farm owned by the Pennsylvania State College (later Penn State University). In 1932 he entered Penn State, majoring in English. He graduated in 1936, and worked briefly for the local newspaper, the Centre Daily Times. He earned his master's degree at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 1937. That year, he joined the Boston Daily Record as a staff reporter and a year later, he married Virginia Matthews.
About 1940, he became a reporter for the Associated Press and in 1942, joined the staff of The American Magazine as a section editor, later becoming a staff writer. The American Magazine closed in July, 1956, and Packard moved over to Collier's where he worked as a writer. Collier's, too, closed by the end of 1956, allowing Packard to devote his full attention to writing books. In 1957, The Hidden Persuaders was published and received national attention. The book launched Packard's career as a social critic and full-time lecturer and book author. In 1961 he was named a Distinguished Alumnus of Penn State University. He died in 1996 at the Martha's Vineyard Hospital in Massachusetts...
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