During his multiple careers, Broadcast Pioneers member Alan R. Tripp was a soldier, a writer of non-fiction, a broadcaster, a TV producer, an advertising executive, a songwriter, an inventor and a businessman. He was a graduate of Townsend Harris Hall in New York City and Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.
Born in Leavenworth, Kansas, Alan Tripp followed in the footsteps of his mother, a newspaper reporter, and began his career with The Chicago Daily News. Moving to New York, Tripp, then age 20, cadged a job as news broadcaster on radio station WMCA. His writing skills brought him jobs as a copywriter for a New York advertising agency and columnist for Printer’s Ink, an ad business trade journal.
In 1946, following four years of service in the Army Signal Corps during World War II, Tripp became President of the Philadelphia-based ad agency, Bauer, Tripp & Foley where he produced live weekly television musicals and built a national reputation for creativity with ads such as the “Choo-Choo Charlie” commercials for Good & Plenty candy in which a little boy firmly believed himself to be a locomotive engine. The cast of that commercial was notable: Jason Alexander played Charlie and Patty Duke played his girl friend.
In his writing career, Tripp wrote Millions from the Mind: How to Turn Your Invention – or Someone Else’s -- into a Fortune, published in hardcover by Amacom Books and in paperback by Taletyano Books. He worked anonymously on his wife Maggie’s book Woman in the Year 2000. In 2004, Tripp published a book of rhymes titled Who Needs Hallmark?, illustrated by New Yorker cartoonist Boris Drucker, and, in 2006, he wrote and produced the first combined CD and book about the golf experience, titled In the Hole! Poetic Justice for Golf Fanatics.
For twenty years, Alan Tripp was president and CEO of Product Resources International, a New York firm that worked with individuals and small laboratories to commercialize their innovations via start-up companies, licensing or joint ventures.
Among the inventions Tripp helped bring to market were the RCA Recordrama Album, one of his own patented inventions; Mighty Milk, the first low-fat, high protein dairy product, marketed by Abbotts Dairy and Fairmount Foods; Os-Cal Chewable Calcium tablets, a Marion Laboratories product; and the Endless Pool, a pool with a continuous current that lets a person swim in place. In retirement, he helped dozens of inventors pro bono and served on the Emerging Company Investment Committee of the Ben Franklin Technology Partnership.
As an avocation, Tripp wrote popular songs with such later-famous songwriters as Alan Bergman. Upon retiring, he continued his interest in broadcasting as a member of the Board of Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia where he created the Billy Penn Awards for Positive Television News, aimed at increasing reporting of non-violent news.
Tripp’s wife of 73 years, Maggie Tripp, a feminist and multi-career woman, was celebrated by him in a 2015 book, A Woman with a Mind of her Own, published by the Archway division of Simon and Schuster.
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