John Wiley Hill


The Media School Distinguished Alumni Award (2011)
Honorary Degree (1971)
Doctor of Laws
Business Golden Anniversary
Location: Bloomington
Presenter: John William Ryan
Distinguished Alumni Service Award (1967)
1914; LL.D., 1971


John W. Hill, LHD'71, was co-founder of Hill & Knowlton, a leading international communications consultancy with 80 offices in 44 countries. A native of Shelbyville, Ind., Hill studied journalism at IU from 1910 to 1912, before leaving for an 18-year career as a newspaper entrepreneur, reporter, editor and financial columnist. In 1927, he opened a public relations office in Cleveland, Ohio, and after a client's bank went out of business during the Depression, he took into partnership its public relations director, Donald Knowlton.

In 1934, Hill moved the company headquarters to New York to counsel the American Iron and Steel Institute. Other clients included trade associations and companies such as Proctor & Gamble, Texaco and Gillette. He led the company until 1962 and remained involved with it until his death in 1977.