A former advertising and public relations executive, and an ardent sailor who helped organize the Operation Sail celebrations in New York Harbor, was born in Brooklyn on December 3, 1916. The son of John C., a manufacturers’ agent, and Rose Anne Redfield Fullerton, he grew up in Huntington on Long Island and was graduated in 1934 from Huntington High School. He arrived on College Hill that fall and joined the Emerson Literary Society. John Fullerton, known as “Bud,” went out for debate, played in the Band, and became for four years a stalwart of the varsity fencing and soccer teams, lettering in both sports. In addition, he served on the staff of Hamilton Life and as editor of the 1938 Hamiltonian, and was elected to the journalism honorary society Pi Delta Epsilon.
Bud Fullerton, whose wit and fondness for puns was combined with a literary bent, left the Hill with his diploma in 1938. He soon found his way to New York City and a place on the staff of Macfadden Publications. In 1942, not long after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, he went on active duty with the U.S. Navy. Commissioned as an ensign, he was assigned to patrol and convoy duty in the North Atlantic, and his escort vessel took part in the landing at Omaha Beach in Normandy on D-day, June 6, 1944. Later transferred to the Pacific, he commanded no fewer than five antisubmarine escort vessels as a lieutenant during World War II. He was discharged after the war’s end in 1945.
Bud Fullerton then returned to New York City, where he continued to work in advertising and public relations with agencies such as Young & Rubicam. By the early 1960s he had established his own advertising agency, J.S. Fullerton, Inc., in Manhattan. The accounts that he particularly sought and enjoyed serving were those relating to maritime activities, such as yachting, cruise ships, freighters, and marine products. Ever since his freshman year at Hamilton, when he and roommate Bob DeCourcy ’38 took a 300-mile canoe trip all the way from Utica down the Mohawk and Hudson rivers to Long Island Sound, he had been fascinated by things maritime, and 4 ½ years of wartime sea duty did nothing to quell that interest.
Besides serving as president of his own advertising and public relations company, later Intercom Interrelated Communications, Bud Fullerton, a member of the New York Yacht Club, became involved in fund-raising for non-profit organizations, especially Operation Sail. He raised funds for the parade of “tall ships” from 1964, which coincided with the New York World’s Fair, to the Columbus Quincentennial of 1992, but especially for the spectacular display during the nation’s bicentennial in 1976. In addition, he raised the funds needed for the America’s Cup defense.
John S. Fullerton, a loyal alumnus and editor of his class’s 50th Reunion Yearbook, had been residing in retirement in Southbury, CT, in recent years. He died on July 8, 2011, in his 95th year. He is survived by his wife, the former Jean Macpherson, whom he had wed on July 3, 1957. Also surviving are two sons, Bruce M. and John B. Fullerton, and four grandchildren.