- Alan R. Tripp
- 103 years old
- Lived in Bryn Mawr
- He was a prolific writer and creative marketer
Alan R. Tripp, 103, of Bryn Mawr, a prolific writer, broadcaster, and creative advertising marketer, died Thursday, Dec. 24, of COVID-19 at Beaumont at Bryn Mawr retirement community.
A dynamo who loved to write and sing about his professional and personal life, Mr. Tripp set a course for himself early and racked up achievements at an astonishing rate. He published four books and helped with a fifth; cut a music CD when he was 102; worked on famous ad campaigns for, among others, Good & Plenty candy, and Frank’s Beverages; and helped others market their innovations.
“He had a clear vision as to how to live to 103,” said his granddaughter, Dr. Abigail Tripp Berman. “He was active. He was incredibly positive. He had real intelligence and emotional intelligence. He had balance in his life.”
Perhaps most of all, Mr. Tripp loved to write. He published Millions from the Mind: How to turn your invention — or someone else’s — into a fortune in 1992, and a collection of witty rhymes in 2004, Who Needs Hallmark? He dedicated that book to his wife, Maggie Tripp, and opened it with this rhyme, which he composed for their 30th wedding anniversary:
“I wish that we could slow down time / each clock to be a laggard / for now that we are in our prime / and here I am a braggart / each day’s more precious than the last / no matter how it’s reckoned / I see the future, not the past / and hold fast to each second.”
Mrs. Tripp was a professor, author, and leader of the women’s movement of the 1970s and ’80s. They were married for 73 years until her death in 2014.
In 2006, Mr. Tripp published a book and a companion CD about golf, In the Hole! Poetic Justice for Golf Fanatics, and he wrote about his wife in 2015, A Woman with a Mind of her Own. He also assisted on her 1974 book, Woman in the Year 2000.
Mr. Tripp in 2019 released Senior Songbook, with Marvin Weisbord, an eight-song CD that set his new lyrics to the music of the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s. The song “I just can’t remember your name” is one of the titles. He also authored 10 tips for staying young as you grow older.
Mr. Tripp lived at Beaumont for the last 10 years before he fell ill in November. His friends there called him the “bard of Beaumont” and noted that he broke into song at almost every dinner. “Age was never a deterrent for Alan,” one friend wrote in a tribute.
Born in Leavenworth, Kan., Mr. Tripp graduated from Northwestern University and worked jobs as a newspaper reporter in Chicago, a radio broadcaster in New York, a copywriter for a New York advertising agency, and a columnist for an ad business trade journal.
He moved to Philadelphia for work, and, after four years in the Army, became president in 1946 of the ad agency Bauer, Tripp, Foley, Inc. The company produced live weekly TV musicals and oversaw local and national TV ads.
After their children were grown, Mr. Tripp and his wife relocated to New York in 1966, and he served as president and CEO of Product Resources International, which helped companies commercialize their innovations.
He returned to Philadelphia in 1987 to be near his family, and he served on the board of Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia, and with the Ben Franklin Technology Partnership.
Mr. Tripp loved to swim, play tennis and golf, vacation in Maine, and write his own holiday cards.
“He had a generous spirit,” his granddaughter said. “He was the most levelheaded, dedicated, fun grandparent you could have.”
As for living so long, Mr. Tripp offered this advice to WHYY’s Mary Louise Kelly in a 2019 interview: “The answer is you do not retire from something. You retire to something.”
In addition to his granddaughter, Mr. Tripp is survived by his son, Jeff Tripp, two grandsons, and eight great-grandchildren. His daughter, Barbara Tripp Berman, died in 2009.
A virtual service was held Jan. 16. Donations in his name may be made to the Abramson Cancer Center at Penn, The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, 3400 Spruce St., Phila., Pa., 19104.