Long-time Dallas public relations executive and political consultant Carol Reed died Thursday of cancer. Reed managed victorious mayoral races and influential, city-wide campaigns for more than 30 years.
Reed was born in California but moved to Dallas nearly 50 years ago — and never left. She built a successful public relations career running a variety of political campaigns.
In 2010, Reed was on KERA TV’s CEO. She told host Lee Cullum that as a young woman, she had no interest in politics until her father intervened.
“I didn’t know anything about politics. My father forced me to read the paper, and be on the debate team and things like that,” Reed said. “Probably the biggest gift he gave me is he forced me to take public speaking, so I’ve never been afraid to get up and express myself.”
Reed worked mostly for Republican office holders and candidates, from John Tower to Rudy Giuliani. She worked on campaigns for five Dallas mayors, among them Annette Strauss, Tom Leppert and Ron Kirk — who became Dallas’ first African American mayor. Reed also helped Kirk, a Democrat, when he ran for the U.S. Senate.
Reed also helped lead election campaigns for various projects, including American Airlines Center and AT&T Stadium.
She was also known for supporting community organizations, especially The Friends of Fair Park. Craig Holcomb, retired director of the organization, says Reed was loyal to the people and causes she liked.
“She was a north Dallas Republican who understood that the future of the city was diverse — and south — and that we had to include everybody in it,” Holcomb said. “She had a great sense of fun and humor.”
According to The Dallas Morning News, Reed raised money for many other nonprofit organizations, including St. Philip's School and Community Center, Klyde Warren Park, Perot Museum of Nature and Science, African American Museum, the Real Estate Council, Friends of Dallas Police, and Dallas Symphony Association.