Lawrence G. Foster
Larry Foster was a reporter, bureau chief and night editor of New Jersey’s largest newspaper before joining Johnson & Johnson in 1957 to help form the company’s first public relations department. Over the next thirty-three years he reported to three Chairmen/CEOs and retired as Corporate Vice President of Public Relations in 1990. During his years at Johnson & Johnson the company grew forty times larger.He directed Johnson & Johnson’s public relations response to the Tylenol crises in 1982 and 1986. PR Week named him one of the ten most influential public relations executives of the 20th Century.
His professional awards include the Gold Anvil (PRSA), the Atlas Award (PRSA) for lifetime achievement in international public relations, and the Hall of Fame Award from the Arthur W. Page Society. He was president of the Page Society (1990-92) and Chairman of The Wisemen (1986-90). In 1990 he helped organize the College of Fellows at the Public Relations Society of America, and became a founding member.
Foster is author of A Company That Cares, the history of Johnson & Johnson, and the biography, Robert Wood Johnson: The Gentleman Rebel.
A graduate of The Pennsylvania State University, he served as a University Trustee, President of the Alumni Association and Chairman of The Fund Council. He received Penn State’s Distinguished Alumnus Award, was an Alumni Fellow and the 1999 recipient of the Lion’s Paw Medal for service to the University. For sixteen years he was a Trustee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in Princeton, N.J., the nation’s largest health care philanthropy.
He has joined with two founders of the Page Society, Edward M. Block (AT&T) and John A. Koten (Ameritech), to form The Arthur W. Page Center at Penn State’s College of Communications. It is the largest accredited college of communications in the nation. Endorsed by the Page Society’s Board of Trustees, the Page Center is dedicated to improving the performance of corporate communications and to perpetuating the Page Principles.
He and his wife, Ellen, have five children and ten grandchildren.