Larry Gragg

Live Wire Fund

Near the end of World War II businessmen in Las Vegas began planning for the post-war economy. Much of the town's prosperity had been built upon the payrolls of the 25,000 civilian and military employees of the Las Vegas Gunnery School and Basic Magnesium, Incorporated. Realizing that both would soon shut down, community leaders scrambled to replace the income derived from the payrolls of those employees.

Las Vegas News Bureau

After World War II the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, in an effort to boost tourism, launched a Live Wire Fund promotional campaign. Steve Hannagan and Associates, the last of three public relations agencies to handle the publicity effort, established the Desert Sea News Bureau in 1947, which changed its name to the Las Vegas News Bureau in 1949. When Hannagan did not have his contract renewed, the bureau became a division of the Chamber of Commerce and was later renamed the Las Vegas News Bureau.

Herb McDonald

In the three decades after World War II, hotel publicists played a critical role in promoting Las Vegas as an appealing tourist destination. One of the most successful was Herbert "Herb" McDonald, who gained renown not only for his work as a publicist, but also as a civic leader.

Harvey Diederich

Widely regarded by his peers as one of the best publicists in Las Vegas, Harvey Diederich had a career in the Nevada resort city for nearly four decades. In his innovative uses of publicity and in his effective collaborations with the staff of the Las Vegas News Bureau, Diederich sought not only to promote his employers' properties, but also the general prosperity of Las Vegas.

Al Freeman

The 1950s and 1960s were the halcyon days of Las Vegas hotel publicists. Throughout those two decades, men like Herb McDonald, Harvey Diederich, Jim Seagrave, Eugene Murphy, and Abe Schiller successfully promoted Las Vegas.

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