German-American Toby E. Rodes worked in the field of public relations serving public institutions as well as the private sector on both sides of the Atlantic.
Rodes was born in 1919 in Frankfurt am Main as the son of businessman Charles E. Rosenthal (Rodes changed his name after moving to the USA). Rodes went to school in Frankfurt and Switzerland before he studied accounting at the London School of Economics. In 1937, Rodes immigrated to the United States and studied international finance and law in New York. He obtained his US citizenship in 1942. Rodes returned to Europe during World War II. He first held a position in the US Army detachment for psychological warfare under General C. Powell and later worked for the Information Control staff under Lucius D. Clay. After the war, Rodes stayed in Germany as part of the US diplomatic service and promoted the Marshall Plan.
After his military and diplomatic career, Rodes worked in the private corporate sector. From 1955 until 1966 he was employed as a manager by Knoll International, an American furniture design company founded by German immigrant Hans Knoll in 1938. As part of his engagement with Knoll, Rodes travelled frequently between the United States and Europe to coordinate the international development of the company. His strong affiliation to the field of public relations was expressed by his membership on the board of Julius Klein Public Relations from 1953 till 1973. This American public relations agency worked for the German government and for several German companies aiming to build relations with the United States after the war.
In 1966, Rodes founded his own consulting agency in Basel, Switzerland, where he still lives today.
Rodes, Toby E. Einmal Amerika und zurück: Erinnerungen eines amerikanischen Europäers. Frauenfeld: Huber, 2009.
Rodes, Toby E. Public Relations: A Short Introduction. Bonn: Hohwacht-Verlag, 1977.
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