JWT Atlanta celebrates the winner of the first Bill Sharp Award, a student grant awarded to one African American student to support their pursuit of a career in the advertising industry. The award is named after the famed African American advertising executive and industry diversity pioneer, William "Bill" Sharp. While working as a Group Copy Supervisor at JWT in the late 1960s, Bill Co-created and ran the Basic Advertising Course, which helped African Americans learn the business of advertising. In 1969, Bill published a book, How To Be Black and Get a Job in the Advertising Agency Business Anyway. His work and lasting devotion to helping create opportunities in the business for African Americans has touched thousands of individuals in the industry, and we are proud to honor his legacy.
A truly amazing man who I had the opportunity to meet years ago. He brought me into his office, completely unscheduled, at spoke to me at length about the joy, work and rigor of the advertising business. I'm nearly certain he wouldn't remember that day over 15 years ago, but I will never forget it. It has fueled my career and helped me to understand what it means to be gracious. I hope to one day attain his level of dignity and magnanimity.