Liener Temerlin, left, pictured here with H. Ross Perot, during the 2011 launch of the Dallas International Film Festival, which Temerlin also founded. (Credit: Dallas Film Society, via Flickr Creative Commons)

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Liener Temerlin, R.I.P.

Remembering the legendary ad man who touched many lives throughout Dallas and was instrumental in the creation of the Meyerson.

Liener died on Friday. The memorial service at Temple Emanu-El’s (very beautiful) Stern Chapel was on Sunday.

It was, naturally, a packed house. That’s because Liener touched so many lives. There are the hundreds of people who began their advertising careers under his tutelage at Temerlin McClain. There are the many clients whose businesses he helped build. And then there were his many, many friends, of whom I was privileged to be numbered, who were inspired by him, regaled by him, guided by him, and—in a blunt, funny Jewish Oklahoman drawl—“instructed” by him.

In 2000, we printed the inside story of how the Mort Meyerson Symphony Center was built during the Dallas depression of the 1980s. The three main characters are Meyerson himself, Stanley Marcus, and Liener. The capstone to the effort was convincing philanthropist Wendy Reves to donate the final $2 million for the hall. Liener’s idea was to build a memorial arch for her late husband, which now sits outside the Meyerson. In the piece, she summed up the man:

“We’re standing here because of one man. This man could sell the Brooklyn Bridge to anybody, because he sold the arch to me, and his name is Liener Temerlin.”


  • My wife (then girlfriend) moved to Dallas in 1995 for two reasons. First, I lived here (silly woman). Second, she got a job at Temerlin McClain. I won’t pretend that her time there was a particularly nurturing, enjoyable period of her life. There were many late nights and more than a few tears, but blame for that doesn’t belong to Temerlin himself. So yeah. The Meyerson and my marriage. Couldn’t have happened without him.

  • Vinny Minchillo

    Spent a lot of time working with Liener at TM. Nobody could put together a big ad agency presentation like he could. It was never about advertising, it was about the show. Marching band in the conference room? Let’s do it. (He did.) Liener used to say, if it’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing. I’ll miss working with him, having good-natured disagreements over movies with him and just watching the man work a room. RIP, Liener.

  • GeoWest

    Saddened to hear of Lanier’s passing. Lanier was one of the last Dallas icons in the business – and in the national ad business. I’m reminded of when the Ad Club did his roast (great event) and as time passed noticed we were not doing roasts much anymore. I asked my friend Roger Tremblay about that and he said something along the lines of “there is no one to roast anymore.” I found that both profound and sad for an industry that I have called my career and which produced so many icons. I treasure the many LT stories that made him great, and remember fondly how he made me laugh. And I kind of wish TM would change their name back to Temerlin McClain in his honor. Let Times Mirror have TM for their brand. / George Gretser posting as GeoWest