Frank Burge, an influential technology publishing executive who also helped launch Apple Inc., died Aug. 29 after a battle with cancer. He was 78.
Dumas said, "Well, basically you load up a rock glass with ice, pour
three fingers of vodka in to the glass and then simply pass the
Vermouth bottle over the glass."
"Sensational," Burge responded.
Dumas tried to get the interview back on track, when Burge said he
had the job if he wanted it.
According to Dumas, "I said, 'Excuse me?' And Frank said, 'Let me
see if I got this straight. Your sports career tells me you are an
over competitive son of a bitch and your bartending career tells me
you know how to talk to people; Sounds like a great sales person to
Paul Miller, CEO of UBM Technology, called out Burge's constant
admonition to focus on the customer, whether he or she was buying advertising or reading stories.
"He had a unique way of cutting through the B.S. and getting
straight to the point, once telling me that the work I had just
presented him with some pride had no research to back it up and that
it was based upon my ‘gut feel’ and that I needed to get closer to
the audience before creating ‘whizz bang’ presentations," Miller
Almost everyone who knew Burge had a common description: A great
story-teller. Burge preached the value of story-telling whether it
was for a news/feature story or in a marketing campaign. He wrote a
regular column for many years at EE Times that had a devoted readership and an
oft-used line: "Life is beautiful indeed."
In a column a dozen years ago, Burge wrote of the illness of a
friend who later died of cancer:
"Life is short. And we have so little time to let
those special people in our lives know how much we care."
As word spread that Burge had entered hospice care recently, the
remembrances resounded on email. It became clear that Burge had
touched and influenced hundreds of people in the technology world,
who are influencing thousands of others in their own Burge-inspired
Life is beautiful indeed.
Burge leaves his wife of 56 years, Barbara, children Teresa
(Ashland, WI), Frances (Los Gatos, CA) and Robert (Austin, Texas), 10
grandchildren and five great-grandchildren (here
is a link to his local obituary
). Funeral services for Frank Burge are still being arranged.
Selected columns of Frank Burge:
there is still time
were different times