L. Erick Kanter, 62, a veteran federal government public information officer, who later became a familiar face on business television shows as a spokesman for the mutual fund industry, died on Nov. 23, 2004, after suffering a brain aneurism at Washington Hospital Center. Since 1995 he had headed an Arlington, Virginia-based public relations firm, Kanter & Associates, which served clients in mutual fund management companies and other financial services firms. He was born in New Ulm, Austin County, Texas on December 15, 1942, the son of Lawrence and Wilma Kellner Kanter. He was baptized January 25, 1943 by Pastor Leo Simon and confirmed on April 14, 1957 by Pastor Milroy Gregor at the Lutheran church in New Ulm where his great grandfather was a founding member. A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Mr. Kanter began his career in journalism in 1965 as a reporter with Newsweek magazine's Houston bureau, where he covered the "Vacation White House," at President Lyndon Baines Johnson's ranch, the U.S. space program and civil rights marches in the South. During the Vietnam War he served three years in the Navy, where he helped prepare the daily news briefings in Saigon and later served as the Navy liaison with television networks in the Pentagon. After the war he returned to Newsweek's Boston bureau, but left in 1971 to go to Washington, where he served as press officer for several federal agencies and White House commissions, starting with the Federal Wage-Price Control program. As deputy director of public affairs for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the mid 1970's he created seminars for television weather newscasters on how to use new scientific findings and visual material to broaden their coverage of hurricanes and other severe storms. He left the government in 1980 to start a private consulting company in Washington. Four years later he became a vice president for the Investment Company Institute, a Washington-based trade association for the mutual fund industry. In his effort to improve public awareness of the fast-growing industry, he made over 100 appearances on business news programs, including appearances on CNBC, PBS and ABC's "Good Morning America." In 1987, Mr. Kanter developed a cooperative arrangement between the trade association and American University to establish a national journalism awards program for reporters covering personal finance matters. He served as co-director for the program for eight years. He was a member of the National Press Club and served as national treasurer of the U.S. Navy Public Affairs Alumni Association. He is survived by his wife, Mary Anne Kanter of Arlington, Virginia; his mother, Wilma Kanter Ziegenbein and husband, Gilbert; his sister, Jeanette Kanter Fair and husband Vic, all of New Ulm; and a niece, Erika Fair, of Round Rock. A memorial service for Erick Kanter will be held at St. John Lutheran Church in New Ulm on December 5, 2004 at 1:30 p.m. Memorials may be sent to the National Press Foundation, 1211 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington D.C. 20036 or to the charity of your choice.
Posted by Joy Neely