John Manton, co-founder and publisher of Family Travel Forum Inc, died November 16th in New York from melanoma. He was 77 years old.
Born in Abergele, North Wales, John was schooled in the U.K. and eagerly joined the first class of Outward Bound, the original environmental awareness school founded in Wales.
John began his love affair with the sea at the Royal Naval College, HMS Conway, where he graduated with Honors and received the King’s Gold Medal for Outstanding Achievement. In 1971 he was chosen as Class Valedictorian at Williams College in the U.S., where he did graduate work in international business.
John’s long career included positions on several continents at Nestle, Unilever, the Orient Line, the Royal Mail Line and other travel and tourism businesses. From 1967 through 1982, he was a marketing executive for Avis Rent-A-Car , where he oversaw the company’s global marketing initiatives in addition to serving as a member of the Office of the CEO. He met Ruth McCarthy, then an executive editor at Vogue, at an ASTA Convention in Amsterdam. After they married a few years later, John settled in New York with her and her two children, eventually becoming a U.S. citizen.
After leaving Avis, John started an international consulting business to establish and market foreign brands in the U.S. He continued to travel the world, serving on the Board of Directors, Travel Industry Association of America (USTA), and was a member of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA); the Pacific Area Travel Association (PATA); and the British Institute of Marketing.
It was while listening to his stepdaughter (me) talk about taking her baby to Morocco on a Conde Nast assignment that John suggested they start a newsletter about family travel. Thus, he and I co-founded Family Travel Forum Inc. in 1996 to produce a monthly print newsletter supported by a web site to assist in directly reaching fellow travelers.
John Manton loved traveling with his grandson and extended family, serving as FTF’s publisher, strategic advisor and a frequent contributor until his death. At his urging, Family Travel Forum Inc. went all-digital in 2002 and continues to publish several websites about travel with children.
Among his many passions, John joined the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary’s Long Island division after 9/11, conducting marine safety classes for recreational boaters and other duties in Southhampton, Sag Harbor, Montauk and Easthampton, as well as near his winter (and golf) home in Boca Raton, Florida. His diligent service and many contributions were recognized with several citations, among them The Achievement Medal for Superior Performance of Duty, awarded in July 2007 when he rescued a man from drowning in Watermill, Long Island.
John is survived by his wife of 37 years, Ruth; her two children, music industry consultant Keith McCarthy and FTF editor Kyle McCarthy; a sister, Marjorie Sadler in the U.K.; three nephews and their families in Europe; and his grandson, Regan Bozman.
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