Jim Mullen, 91, of Chapel Hill, died peacefully May 26, 2014 at UNC Hospitals with his family at his side. He leaves behind his wife of 69 years, Dorothy Muir Mullen, of Carolina Meadows in Chapel Hill.
Jim was the founder of the Advertising specialization within the UNC-CH School of Journalism and Mass Communication, where he taught from 1959 until his retirement in 1986. His faculty colleagues credit him with the growth of the school’s prominence in advertising, one of the school’s largest programs today.
In 2006, he was inducted into the N.C. Advertising Hall of Fame. The journalism school named its James J. Mullen Outstanding Senior in Advertising Award in his honor.
Before joining the UNC faculty, Jim taught at the University of Illinois, the University of Nebraska, the University of Minnesota and St. Thomas College. He also worked as a copywriter for the Leo Burnett and J. Walter Thompson advertising agencies in Chicago.
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A native of St. Paul, Minnesota, Jim earned his bachelor’s, masters and doctoral degrees from the University of Minnesota. He also attended Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania.
Born on Veteran’s Day and died on Memorial Day, Jim was a proud veteran of World War II, where he served as a LTJG in the U.S. Navy. In 2012, he participated in the Flight of Honor program, which flew WWII veterans to Washington, DC, to view the memorial built in their honor.
Jim was an avid Tar Heel fan, keen golfer, crossword puzzle enthusiast and accomplished player of duplicate bridge. In his retirement, he volunteered with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA), which offers free tax preparation assistance to needy taxpayers. He also volunteered with the Inter-faith Council for Social Service in Chapel Hill.
Outside of teaching, Jim’s main interest was travelling the world with his beloved wife, Dorothy. Together the Mullens visited all 50 states and more than 70 countries on five continents. Favorite destinations were Turkey, Mexico, New Zealand, Bali, Thailand and the United Kingdom. They celebrated their retirement with a 123-day totally independent (no tours) trek around the world.
Jim was predeceased by his parents, George A. Mullen and Zita McCollow Mullen.
He is survived by his wife and their four children and spouses, Martha Haswell (Joel), Jack Mullen (Fran Friday), Bill Mullen, and Ken Mullen (Beth), all of Chapel Hill. Also surviving are five grandchildren, Ross Haswell, Miranda Shook, Elaine Haswell, Walker Mullen, Mark Mullen, and one great-grandchild, Wiley Shook. Jim’s brother, Thomas Mullen of Rolling Hills Estates, CA, also survives.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 12, 2014, at Carolina Meadows. The service will be conducted by the Rev. Robert Dunham in the Fairways Gallery.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Jim Mullen Scholarship Fund at the UNC-CH School of Journalism and Mass Communication, to the Inter-faith Council for Social Service, or to a charity of your choice.