Obituary: Bertram Russick (Sr)
Bertram (‘Bert’) Russick, the former owner of Minneapolis-based polling specialist Mid-Continent Surveys, died on Thursday January 26th at the age of 90.
Born in Des Moines, Russick left Iowa to join the Army Air Corps, where he served as a Navigator/Bombardier aboard a B-25 bomber plane, and flew in 27 combat missions across the South Pacific.
Following his military service, Bert received a BA in Marketing Research from USC and then moved to Minneapolis to begin his career with M&O Paper and then General Mills.
After his career was interrupted briefly by the Korean conflict, he returned to Minneapolis, and in 1953 became the owner and President of Mid-Continent Surveys. Under his leadership, the firm provided polling information that was regularly featured on WCCO-TV news from the 1960s through the 1980s.
As an active member of the community, he served as Chairman of the Better Business Bureau, President of the Minnesota Chapter of AMA, and Director of the Advertising Club. He also shared his interest in the study of consumer behavior, while serving as a member of the teaching faculty at the U of M, Concordia College and the University of St Thomas.
In the mid-1980s, Russick sold Mid-Continent to Webb Publishing, and then launched a second phase of his career - conducting market research used in intellectual property litigation throughout the US. He continued teaching and conducting research well into his 70s, finally retiring in 2000.
Preceded in death by his wife Harriet, he is survived by his three children, including son Bert Russick Jr who serves as a Research Director at GfK - as well as his five grandchildren.