In 2013 this world lost Jay Conrad Levinson. He was the founder, the spirit and the shining light of Guerrilla Marketing. Jay passed peacefully after a 2 year battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his wife, Jeannie Levinson and the love and admiration of his family friends, and countless others.
The cliche of countless others is accurate in this case as he was author of the "Guerrilla Marketing" series of books with over 21,000,000 copies sold. Guerrilla Marketing became the best known marketing brand in history. Guerrilla Marketing has been named one of the 100 best business books ever written.
Seeing the need for small business and entrepreneurs to be able to compete in the marketplace against huge Fortune 500 companies, Jay created Guerrilla Marketing in the early 1980’s. Jay taught his concepts for ten years at the University of California in Berkeley. His guerrilla concepts have influenced marketing so much that are required reading in MBA programs around the world. . The books appear in 62 languages. Remember Jay telling a story that in parts of Eastern Europe his books were as big as Harry Potter…that is big as he was acclaimed for his free enterprise writing that provided some of the concepts necessary to break from the Soviet systems.
Jay was smart, genius level IQ, dynamic, charming and creative man. He worked in the ‘Mad Men’ world of advertising agencies winning prizes and general acclaim. But in 1971 Jay left the corporate life and was an early advocate of work/life balance. He prided himself on earning a healthy living working only a three day week, while writing and teaching others how to do the same. His four passions all had a ‘W’ in them: writing; white water river rafting; snow skiing in the winter and wife & family.
Jay has influenced countless students including some Silicone Valley notables Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Michael Dell and Larry Ellison who learnt that building cool devices or widgets was not enough, selling them to a receptive audience was necessary as well.
Jay is survived by his wife, Jeannie Levinson and five children including daughter, Amy Levinson who worked with her Dad in the Guerrilla Marketing business, over a dozen grandkids and 5 Great Grandchildren and an extended family.
It is the countless friends, colleagues, students, and readers who will also miss Jay. We are grateful for the writings and lessons.
“Jay Conrad Levinson lived a life that changed the world and touched profoundly the lives of everyone that knew him.” Jeannie & Amy Levinson
Guerrilla Marketing will carry on. Its roots and lessons are too strong. We will learn new lessons by reading from this old master.
Bon Voyage, Jay Conrad Levinson.