The world’s first advertising agency headed by a woman was launched 54 years ago this month, when groundbreaking copywriter Mary Wells joined with creative partners Dick Rich and Stewart Greene to launch Wells, Rich, Greene. By the end of its first year, the agency, with Wells at its helm, had 100 employees and $39 million in annual billings. Two and a half years after its founding, WRG went public, making Wells — by then Mary Wells Lawrence — the first female CEO of a New York Stock Exchange–traded company. Around the same time, she became the youngest person inducted into the Copywriters Hall of Fame.
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