Chicago advertising exec Mary Mahoney dies at 59

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Mary Mahoney | Photo from Donnellan Family Funeral Home

Mary Mahoney, a “larger-than-life figure” in Chicago advertising and the former publisher of the National Enquirer, died this week. She was 59.

While she rose to the upper echelon of advertising in Chicago, her son Michael — born on Christmas day in 1988 — was “her best friend and most accomplished production,” said her husband, Brian Hurley. “Our son Michael was the love of her life.”

Ms. Mahoney had a gift for making others feel special, her husband said.

Often, she and seven or eight friends — known amongst themselves as “The Lunch Bunch” — would get together “and talk and laugh and be festive,” Hurley said.

“She’d make everybody inside and outside the group feel like they were the most important person in the world,” he said.

Mahoney’s sales skills were “unmatched” and she was “one of the most charismatic and successful magazine advertising sales executives,” according to her death notice.

She was also known for her “million-watt smile, movie-star looks, [and] irresistible charm.”

Along with the National Enquirer, Ms. Mahoney’s career also included time at Adweek.

She is survived by her husband, son, mother and three siblings. Ms. Mahoney was affectionately known as “Crazy Aunt Mary” to her nieces and nephews.

Her wake was Thursday at Donnellan Family Funeral Home in Skokie. Her funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Friday at St. Clement Church, 642 W. Deming, in Lincoln Park.

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