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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.
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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)

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.”

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