Milton A. Eisenberg, 87, Public-Relations Executive

Milton A. Eisenberg, 87, past president of the Yellow Cab Company of Philadelphia, died May 2 at his home in Cheltenham, where he resided for more than 50 years.

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Eisenberg joined the taxicab company in 1941. He was drafted into the Army later that year before the attack on Pearl Harbor. During World War II, he was assigned to the 14th Evacuation Hospital in the China Burma India Theater, where he became a master sergeant in charge of its personnel section.

As the war ended, Eisenberg returned to Yellow Cab, rising from garage clerk to president. He negotiated collective bargaining agreements with union officials including Teamster International President James Hoffa. He frequently testified on taxicab regulatory matters before the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. In 1974, he retired from the company to take part in other activities.

Eisenberg then joined the Deborah Hospital Foundation staff, handling the foundation's administration and public relations. His publicity campaign for Deborah's "Children of the World" heart surgical program helped bring international fame to the hospital. When Deborah's efforts to bring to the hospital seriously ill Polish children for heart surgery were resisted by the Polish government, he contacted the late Cardinal Krol, who had the Vatican intercede to allow the children admittance.

After serving eight years with Deborah, he formed Eisenberg Consulting Services, which provided public relations counseling to hospitals, law firms and nonprofit organizations. In 1991, he traveled to Beijing with a surgical team from the Medical Center of Delaware that formed an alliance with a Chinese hospital in Beijing. His public relations program for the U.S.S. Olympia helped keep the historic ship docked in Philadelphia. He retired in 1995.

Eisenberg was accredited by the Public Relations Society of America and served as president of the Philadelphia Public Relations Association, and a member of PPRA's Hall of Fame. He was also a past president of the Poor Richard Club and co-founder of P.R. Pioneers, a group of seasoned professionals.

A member of Beth Sholom Congregation for almost 50 years, he served on the synagogue's Men's Club board, and was on its publicity committee. During the synagogue's 50th-anniversary celebration, he chaired its public-relations committee.

Eisenberg's board and committee memberships included: Crime Prevention Association, Philadelphia Convention Bureau, Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, Jaycees, Jewish Vocational Service, Federation of Jewish Agencies, Catholic Charities, National Adoption Service and the United Way.

Active with groups that aided young people, in 1954, he helped originate Philadelphia's Hero Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships for the children of police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty. Later, he served as president of the fund and, more recently, was its honorary president.

He chaired the Philadelphia Police Athletic League, and was a regional vice chairman of Boy Scouts of America.

Working with the Department of Defense, he helped organize the World War II 50th-anniversary observances, and was commended by Gen. Colin Powell.

The Charles Morris Price School of Advertising and Journalism named him interim director and a distinguished alumnus. Philadelphia magazine included him in its list of the city's most active persons serving on boards of cultural and welfare institutions. He received professional awards from the New Jersey Press Association, the Better Business Bureau, the Philadelphia Press Association, the Philadelphia Press Photographers Association, the Philadelphia Club of Advertising Women and the Poor Richard Club.

At a citywide tribute luncheon in 1994, Eisenberg was honored for his community service with tributes from President Bill Clinton, Gov. Robert P. Casey, Mayor Ed Rendell, the Philadelphia City Council, Philadelphia Police and Fire Commissioners and the Fraternal Order of Police. His "humanitarian efforts" were recorded in the 1994 U.S. Congressional Record. In 1997, KYW-TV, Channel 3, recognized him for a "lifetime of community service and setting an example for future generations."

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge commended him for his public service in 2000. That year, the Cheltenham Township Board of Commissioners gave him a Community Service Award in recognition of his leadership in its Centennial Celebration.

Eisenberg is survived by his wife, the former Vyette Yanus; a daughter, Susan Wyner; a son, Bruce Eisenberg; brother George Eisenberg; five grandchildren; and twin great-granddaughters. He was predeceased by another brother, Daniel Eisenberg.

Contributions in his memory can be made to: Fox Chase Cancer Center, 333 Cottman Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19111.


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