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curtis

Ed Curtis owns alot of downtown Evansville real estate.  

You have probably  seen one of them, from the Lloyd Expressway the neon sign is unmistakable.  It is the Curtis building. 

He jokingly says he named if after his dad.  Ed Curtis is a former ad man, now real estate developer.  But there's a lot more to know about Curtis than just the buildings he owns.  Newswatch has a close-up with Ed Curtis.

Ed Curtis said, "I started an outdoor advertising company that was a failure."

But few of his buisness ventures were failures.  Ed Curtis was an advertising man with a golden touch.

He explained, "My claim to fame was I tried to sell my company to Ted Turner."

Ted wasn't buying. But Curtis spent fifteen memorable minutes with him.

"He had bought this little independent television station in Atlanta. And he took me behind and says, 'We're going to start this new network, and we're going to compete with NBC, ABC , and CBS. I said, this guy's crazy."

Ed gave up that Atlanta business. And started something else. His own advertising agency with a very important client.

"And Mead Johnson became very prominent customer of mine over a period of 24 years."

It was so prominent, Mead Johnson ended up his only customer, until he sold out to a Chicago ad company.  Ed retired.

"I traveled the world. When I was in the advertising business, I did alot of real estate development."

He develped such things as the Foxfire Apartments on Evansville's westside, condos in his hometown of Mt Vernon, Illinois, and the Curtis Building. 

But what do you do with an empty downtown warehouse?

"My first thought was, I talked to Don Mattingly about making it hotel. Darryl Jackson and I decided to turn it into an office building.  Typical Evansville venture because everyone said, 'It's not going to succeed because the old post office failed...blah, blah, blah..."

T hey were wrong.  Two hundred people now work in the Curtis Building. But, the businesses and the buildings don't mark this man.  

There are two events that do.  The first, an explosion and fire at his Newburgh apartment.

"I said, it's too late."

The second....

"i survived cancer."

tonight, ed talks about that explosion and fire, and his bout with cancer. Two defining moments in his life. And he tells me about his proudest moment. Close up with ed curtis tonight on newswatch at ten.

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