David Charles “Louie” Bender, 74, died February 24, 2019 at Overlook Hospital in Summit, NJ, after a long and hard fought battle with cancer.
He was born in Royal Oak, Michigan on February 7, 1945, the son of Kenneth and Betty Bender. He graduated from Fenton (MI) High School in 1963.
In 1966 he was drafted into the US Army, 1st Infantry Division, better known as the Big Red 1. He served his nation in Vietnam with honor and distinction, garnering two Bronze Stars and the Purple Heart. He was honorably discharged from the Army in 1968, and has been active in Veterans affairs throughout the remainder of his life.
Bender earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Michigan State University in 1971, and was elected to Excalibur, an honorary society that yearly recognizes Thirteen Outstanding Senior Men. He earned his Masters of Arts degree in Communication Arts and Sciences from Michigan State University in 1974, and was honored with the Excellence in Teaching Award, presented to an outstanding graduate student each year. In 1987, Michigan State University honored Bender with its prestigious Outstanding Alumni Award, in recognition of his distinguished career.
Bender began his career in 1974 at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Communication, before entering the New York City corporate media world, where he worked for the Harris Poll (1978-1980). He served as Director of News and Sports Research at ABC television network (1980-1982); then as Vice President of Research and Marketing for Viacom International (1982-1984) where he helped to found the Cable Health Network, one of the pioneer cable channels. He was the Vice President of Research for USA Network (1984-1989) before ending his career as the President and Chief Operating Officer of Mediamark Research, Inc. (1990-1999).
Bender is survived by his wife of 44 years Patricia Anne, nee Miller; by his brothers John (Anne) Bender of Lawrence Park, PA; Robert (Beverly) Bender of Tampa, FL; his beloved nieces and nephews Steve, Justin, Erica, Brad, Brooke, Anthony, and Ella: and a multitude of close friends.
He was a passionate Yankee fan and a fierce advocate of Veterans affairs. In 2016, he established a scholarship to provide funds to enable worthy veterans to complete their degrees once their Veterans benefits had expired. Donations in his memory may be made to this fund, The Lou Bender Endowed Scholarship for Veterans at Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI.
A celebration of his amazing life will be held at a future date.