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Milton H. Biow (1892–1976) was an American advertising executive who founded the Biow Company.[1] Biow is recognized as one of the pioneers of the modern school of advertising.[1]

Milton H. Biow
Born(1892-07-24)July 24, 1892
DiedFebruary 1, 1976(1976-02-01) (aged 83)
OccupationAdvertising executive
Spouse(s)Eleanor Taub
Children2, including Patricia Biow Broderick
FamilyAdet Lin (daughter-in-law)
Matthew Broderick (grandson)



Biow was born to a Jewish family.[2][3] In 1917, Biow started a one-man advertising office in New York City,[1] entering an industry then dominated by White, Anglo-Saxon Protestants.[3] It quickly grew to become one of the largest advertising agencies in the United States topping $50 million in revenues at its highest winning major accounts such as Anacin, Pepsi‐Cola, Eversharp, Ruppert beer, Schenley whisky and Lady Esther cosmetics.[1] Biow's agency was credited as the first to develop a national advertising campaign that used short and catchy advertising slogans on radio and television (such as "Bulova Watch Time" and Johnny's "Call for Philip Morris").[1] He was also responsible for bringing The Lucy–Desi Comedy Hour to television and the Take It or Leave It to radio (which later became the $64,000 Question).[1] In 1934, he purchased WBBR with Arde Bulova and changed the call letters to WNEW, for "the NEWest thing in radio".[4]:2 In 1956, he disbanded his agency after the loss of several major accounts.[1] His firm was the starting point for many in the next generation of real estate executives including Norman B. Norman.

In 1964, Biow wrote Butting In: An Adman Speaks Out which told the story of his time in advertising.[1] Biow and fellow Jews, Albert D. Lasker and Lawrence Valenstein, are widely credited with opening the advertising industry to the next generation of Jewish advertising professionals including: Arthur C. Fatt, Herbert D. Strauss, William Bernbach, Norman B. Norman, Maxwell Dane, Julian Koenig, Frederic S. Papert, Maxwell B. Sackheim; David R. Altman, Ernest Dichter, Stanley Arnold, and Monroe Green.[2]

Personal lifeEdit

Biow was a founder of the National Conference of Christians and Jews and was active with the United Jewish Appeal, the United Hospital Fund and the Muscular Dystrophy Association.[1] He was married Eleanor (née Taub) Biow; they had two children, Richard Biow (married to Chinese translator and writer Adet Lin, daughter of Lin Yutang)[5][6] and Patricia Biow Broderick.[1][7] He was a member of Temple Emanu-El in Manhattan.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j New York Times: "MILTON BIOW DIES" by Burton Lindheim February 3, 1976
  2. ^ a b "Modern Jewish History: Advertising". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Slate: "Mad Men and Made Men - AMC's new series could have been the Sopranos of advertising. It's not." By Adam Hanft July 18, 2007
  4. ^ Where the Melody Lingers On: WNEW (1934-1984). New York: Nightingale Gordon. 1984. ASIN B000KYMBDA.
  5. ^ Qian, Suoqiao (October 20, 2017). Lin Yutang and China’s Search for Modern Rebirth. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 396. ISBN 9811046565.
  6. ^ "Adet Lin, 23, daughter of Chinese author Lin Yutang, and her husband, Richard M. Biow, 26, are shown in their apartment in Charlestown, Mass., after their marriage was revealed by the brides father who announced they had eloped". Mount Carmel Item. May 6, 1946.
  7. ^ "Patricia Broderick, 78, artist, writer, mother of actor Matthew Broderick". 2003-12-02. Retrieved 2013-06-23.
  8. ^ Jewish Post (Indianapolis) 13 April 1956 | Milton H. Blow, who is almost a legend in the advertising field, is disbanding the company under his own name, after a fabulous career which saw his firm rise to the top in a highly competitive business. He is credited with having developed Little Johnny and his “Call for Philip Morris,” and the “$64 Question.” Biow is a member of Temple Emanu-El in New York

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