On Tuesday, March 10, Greg Ellis of Manassas Park, Virginia, passed away at the age of 63.
Greg was born on Jan. 27, 1958, in Brockton, Massachusetts, to David and Connie (Willis) Ellis. He is survived by both parents; his three brothers David, Steven, and Chris; and several nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews.
He received a degree in political science from the University of New Hampshire and became involved in politics as the very first volunteer for former U.S. Sen. Gordon Humphrey (R-NH) in his very first Senate election campaign in 1978. After that campaign and graduating from UNH, Greg moved to Washington, D.C., where he worked as aide to newly elected Sen. Gordon Humphrey.
In 1983, Greg moved from Senate politics to conservative fundraising when he was hired as a junior copywriter for Bruce Eberle and Associates, a premier direct mail and direct marketing firm. He would later go on to work for another leading direct mail company, The Richard Norman Company. His last employer was American Target Advertising, the first and largest conservative marketing agency, founded by the pioneer of political direct marketing, Richard A. Viguerie.
Greg wrote literally thousands of fundraising packages and helped raise hundreds of millions of dollars for Republican and conservative causes over his 38-year career. His writing ability was well-known and widely respected by conservative marketers.
He created marketing copy for many major organizations such as the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), as well as presidential, senatorial, and House candidates, and many political PACs, nonprofit organizations, and charities.
Greg loved his work and was passionate about politics and marketing. He read everything he could get his hands on about both and was constantly striving to learn more. He prided himself at being at the very top of his profession. He also always made time to help mentor new writers, several of whom went on to become top fundraising writers and marketers of their own.
Greg was an avid fan of the New England Patriots and the Boston Red Sox, Bruins and Celtics. No matter where he was, if one of those teams could be found playing a game that could be followed on TV, online, or radio, Greg would be tuned in. He had a very dry, and often very funny, sense of humor and loved to banter back and forth with fans of opposing teams, most especially the New York Yankees, New York Jets, and Washington Redskins.
His friendly banter could be accompanied by a wide grin and a twinkle in the eyes. Other times he could appear thoughtful and quiet or even reserved. But despite a conversational pause, friends knew his mind’s gears were actively turning, formulating a witty response that could reward them both by sharing a laugh. He will be dearly missed by his friends and co-workers.
Services will be private and limited to close family members. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Greg’s name to the Salvation Army.