Portland, Ore.-Kevin Mulligan, regional director of communications for AT & T Broadband here, died of a heart attack at his home on Oct. 6, the company said. He was 50 years old.
Mulligan was the AT & T Broadband spokesman in Portland since April 1999, handling communications as the company and city were embroiled in a legal battle over open Internet-access regulations. That precedent-setting case is currently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit.
As local corporate spokesman, Mulligan was recognized for his straight talk and affable style, as well as his encyclopedic knowledge of the media, sports and political worlds, the company said.
Prior to joining AT & T, Mulligan ran a media consulting firm whose clients included the NikeWorld Master Games, U S West Inc. and the American Basketball League. Starting in 1987, he served as vice president and general manager of Pacific Sports Network, a joint venture of Viacom Inc. and Tele-Communications Inc. with more than 1.8 million cable customers.
His varied work for media companies such as Viacom Inc., Sports Byline USA and Cox Communications Corp. spanned more than 20 years.
When in late 1992, Mulligan's stepson, Jim Stolpa, and Stolpa's wife and child disappeared in a blizzard in the mountains of California near Nevada, Mulligan mobilized an informal army of volunteers, media and rescue personnel to find the stranded and lost family. The trio's miraculous survival and rescue became a national story.
Mulligan was able to engineer for them what was believed to be the largest deal up to that time for a made-for-TV film, based on their ordeal. The film, for which Mulligan received producer credits, resulted in further media notice.
As a result of his publicity efforts, the film became a subject satirized in Garry Trudeau's
As a college student at Portland State University, Mulligan was active in the Wayne Morse and Eugene McCarthy campaigns and played a role in anti-Vietnam War activities during the late 1960s and early 70s. In 1970, he led the student strike at Portland State, which was part of a nationwide protest, organized after the Kent State University shootings in Ohio.
Recently, Mulligan's activism focused on educational improvement and neighborhood issues. He was active in the Beaumont Middle School Site Committee, the Grant Park Neighborhood Association and served on the board of the Portland School Foundation.
Survivors include his wife, Muriel; daughter Megan, age 11; parents Norman and Dolores Curry of Albuquerque, N.M.; and stepsons Todd and Jim Stolpa.
A scholarship fund has been established for Megan Mulligan. Contributions should be sent to: The Mulligan Family Trust, 888 SW 5th Ave., Suite 850, Portland, Ore., 97204-2054.