Halbert “Hal” Scranton Gillette, 81, chairman of the board and CEO of Scranton Gillette Communications, parent company of GPN, died November 22, 2003, at his home in Lake Forest, Ill. after a long battle with prostate cancer.
Born in Chicago, Illinois, June 29, 1922, the son of Edward Scranton Gillette and Claribel Reed Thornton and raised in Chicago and Winnetka, Ill.
Mr. Gillette attended The Chicago Latin School and graduated from the Philips Exeter Academy. In 1944 he graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a degree in mechanical engineering and business.
He was commissioned U.S. Navy 1944-1946 and served in the U.S. mainland during World War II and in the Naval Reserves.
He was chairman of the board and CEO of Scranton Gillette Communications, Inc., which specializes in trade magazines, and was founded in 1906 by his grandfather. Mr. Gillette started as a salesman for Gillette Publishing in 1947. In 1960, two-thirds of Gillette Publishing Co. was sold to Reuben H. Donnelley, which then was merging with Dun & Bradstreet. Mr. Gillette also moved to Donnelley/Dun & Bradstreet as a publisher and a vice president. In 1970, he rejoined his father’s firm, then Scranton Publishing Company, and shortly become president of the firm, which was renamed Scranton Gillette Communications.
Mr. Gillette served as past president of the Chicago Business Papers Association, as well as on the board of several insurance companies. He was the former Chairman of the Board of Occidental Life Insurance.
He served as alderman in Lake Forest, Ill., from 1979-1986, and served on the Public Safety and Waterfront committees. He was co-chairman of the committee that oversaw the creation of the city’s current beachfront.
Mr. Gillette was the husband of Karla Ann Spiel Gillette; father of Anne, Susan, James, Halbert and Edward; and grandfather of Alexander, Madeline, Carolyn, Julia and Isabelle.