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Robert S. Mason, public affairs executive

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Friday, March 18, 2011; 9:12 PM

Robert S. Mason, 90, a public affairs executive who came to Washington in 1980 to work in the Department of Housing and Urban Development, died Feb. 28 of congestive heart failure at his home in Washington.

Mr. Mason, who began his career in Washington in the early 1940s as a reporter for the newspaper PM, served as deputy assistant secretary for public affairs for HUD until his retirement in 1989.

Robert Stanley Mason was born in New York City. During World War II, he joined the Office of War Information and later served as a propaganda analyst for the Army in Europe.

He graduated from Harvard University in 1948 and received a master's degree in English literature from Columbia University in 1950. From 1950 to 1954, Mr. Mason taught in the English department and did additional graduate work at Pennsylvania State University.

Beginning in 1954, Mr. Mason worked in New York as a public relations executive for Westinghouse, the New York Life Insurance Co. and McKinsey & Co., a management consulting firm.

In the 1970s, he moved to Boston as vice president for public relations for the Boston Co., an investment management company.

In retirement, Mr. Mason studied world religions at Georgetown University and endowed a lecture series in the theology department.

Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Abelle Dinkowitz Mason of Washington; two sons, Peter Mason of Chicago and Mark Mason of New York; and five grandchildren.

- Matt Schudel


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