Dr. Edward Cundiff was instrumental in building both the Department of Marketing and the Department of Advertising at The University of Texas at Austin. Under the direction of this distinguished faculty member, both departments achieved top national reputations.
A member of Theta Chi at Stanford University, Dr. Cundiff received three degrees from the university: a B.A. degree in economics (1941), a M.B.A. degree (1942), and an Ed.D. degree (1952). He was a Ford Fellow at the Harvard School of Business Administration in 1956 and a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California at Berkeley and at the University of Michigan.
In 1942, Dr. Cundiff served in World War II as a lieutenant (senior grade) in the United States Naval Reserve. He started his career as a retailing executive (1946-48) and later held various positions at San Jose State College and Syracuse University through to the late 1950s.
Dr. Cundiff arrived at UT in 1958, and retired in 1977. While here, he was the chair of the Department of Marketing (1958-46, 1967-71), the recipient of an endowed chair, and the associate dean of the Graduate School of Business (1973-75).
Upon retirement, Dr. Cundiff accepted an appointment at Emory University. He returned to UT in 1987, serving as chair of the Department of Advertising until 1991. Dr. Cundiff was named the John H. Beck Centennial Professor in Communication (1987-94), the John H. Beck Centennial Professor Emeritus in Communication (1994-96), and emeritus professor of marketing (1996). He was a McCombs Hall of Fame inductee in 1993-94.
A distinguished author, Dr. Cundiff wrote seven books and numerous articles. He was the editor of the Journal of Marketing (1973-76), an editorial board member of the Journal of Macromarketing, and a board member and former vice president of the American Marketing Association.
Dr. Cundiff’s contributions were widely recognized. He was elected a fellow of the Southern Marketing Association in 1980, was the first recipient of the L.J. Buchanan Distinguished Professorship at UT San Antonio (1976-77) and was the recipient of a Ford Foundation grant in 1963. He served as a visiting professor abroad, as a consultant to the European Productivity Agency (1960-61), and assisted in the development of two new marketing programs in Europe.
Former colleagues and students of Dr. Cundiff remember him with affection and respect as a loyal friend and understanding advisor. Capable of building a positive environment in the face of negative factors, he was also a brilliant faculty recruiter.
Dr. Cundiff passed away on November 8, 2006. His cherished children and grandchildren are his most important legacy. We will always be indebted to Dr. Cundiff for his invaluable contributions as a leader and builder of our academic legacy in marketing and advertising.