Mark Julian Saylor
(1954 - 2013)

Mark Julian Saylor

March 19, 1954

February 22, 2013

Mark Julian Saylor, founder and president of Saylor Company, died February 22, 2013, at his home in Pasadena. He was 58.

Mark left life – as he lived life – cherished by the family that he so adored: his wife, Nora; his children, Sam, Ben, Katie and Zia; his brother, David, and sister, Janine Muscatine; and his dogs, Boots and Shadow.

In just a few short years, Mark built Saylor Company into one of the nation’s top high-stakes and crisis PR firms. Prior to launching his own firm, he worked in the tech industry and was a top editor and writer for the Los Angeles Times and the San Jose Mercury News.

When he wasn’t jumping on airplanes to put out PR fires – or overseeing projects like the LA Times’ Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation into corruption in the entertainment industry – Mark pursued his love of Go and Chess (he was a ranked chess master), turned found objects into captivating art and cooked up some of the best barbecued ribs and turkey in town.

Mark loved great stories, telling them or hearing them. His friends, colleagues and clients are spread across the globe. We hope you will share your photos or stories about Mark here.

The family thanks you for your support.

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Guest Book (16 entries)
I was at the L.A. Times yesterday, and I spoke with a reporter who knew Mark well. We both agreed on this: Mark Saylor was special.

ross johnson (friend)
September 26th, 2013
I am a friend and client of Mark’s. We met one evening at a fabulous Malibu work party. He explained what he did, and as I knew one day that I would need to be call upon him most likely for clients of mine. I never imagined it would be me who one day would need his help.

And he was there for me.... Mark was a true warrior, a man who could be counted on when others could not. Mark had the biggest shoulders to lean upon. His wisdom, talent, loyalty, and intellect will never be forgotten in our minds and our hearts.

Although he definitely had edges to his personality, I too had edges and there was much mutual respect and understanding.

I owe him much gratitude as he was there for me through one of the most difficult times of my professional career as I faced what I call true evil and greed, to which we prevailed over.

I am heartbroken for his family. May god help you through this difficult time. We hope your sadness will one day turn into beautiful and precious memories.

Warmest regards,
Helen Yu & John Leseberg
Helen Yu (Friend)
July 10th, 2013
It's been a couple of months since Mark left us, and in that time, I now know how much I miss him.

I miss his daily quips about politics, values, stuff going on in Washington and other international capitals.

I miss his gentle-but-firm "encouragement" to garner new business for Saylor Company.

I miss his precise, astute - and most often, accurate - analysis of complex political, economic and human issues.

I miss his frequently indisputable definition of truth.

I miss his probing and sometimes stultifying questions.

I miss his professional challenges.

Put simply -as he liked -I miss Mark.

I realize now more than ever that he was a tremendous boss, a fascinating peer, and a dear friend.
Steve Ellis (Friend)
June 2nd, 2013
I was a senior at Harvard when Mark was a freshman. It was an amazing year for chess at Harvard -- there were six freshmen rated at Mark's level or above. We organized intramural chess teams, the first ever. My Currier House team played a match with Mark's Wigglesworth team; we played a long and dramatic game on first board, ending in a draw. I'm sorry to say we didn't cross paths again after that year. I am glad that he did so well in life, though it was too short.
Bruce Leverett (college friend)
April 30th, 2013
(A longer version of this article was originally published in a South Ossetian newspaper)

August 2008.

When the last bomb exploded in South Ossetia in August 2008, the Russian army entered our city and we emerged from our cellars. I could not believe my eyes-- my beloved city was destroyed.

But when the world spoke of what happened, mistruths were told: the “bad” Russians, people said, occupied the territory of the “good” Ossetians.

I called my friends in Moscow and asked advice. How could we bring the world to its senses? A well- known Russian had the solution: Mark Saylor. He immediately flew from Los Angeles to meet us.

Day and night we traveled across the whole of South Ossetia. Mark managed to meet many victims, to see everything with his own eyes.

Two weeks later we met again with Mark in Moscow. He proposed a plan for his PR agency to help us tell our story to the world: to place articles in the most popular American newspapers, to create two English-language information sites devoted to our events and to bring a group of women to the USA.

Soon there were stories about the August events in such newspapers as The Christian Science Monitor and The Washington Post. And there were created two information sites, and where we placed many photos and video materials about the events of August, 2008.

Then it was time for us women to enter “the fight”.

Mark Saylor and his staff met us at the airport. Mark looked monumental. He was a tall, large man with a calm look. He spoke quietly, but clearly and expressively. Mark's confidence and tranquility gave hope to all of us.

During the first day of meetings with Mark's colleagues, we were taught how to express our thoughts shortly and accurately, not deviating from a subject. We were given a list of the planned meetings: it included the editor of the major newspapers and the offices of senators and public organizations.

We were given a list of possible questions. We were warned that in most instances, a 15 minute meeting had been arranged but if we were not interesting or credible we might be told that they were in a hurry for an important meeting and in three minutes the meeting would be finished.

Mark prepared us so well that our shortest meeting lasted 30 minutes and we had meetings up to 50 minutes!

During all meetings, everywhere and always, Mark was with us. When we left America, Mark told to us at parting: “I am very proud of our work. Thank you!”

Actually we felt that Mark was not simply performing his work. We felt he respected our grief, and understood the soul of the Ossetian people.

In April last year I was told that Mark Saylor was incurably sick. When I was invited to lecture on conflict science at George Mason University and the University of California Irvine, I accepted the invitation without giving it a second thought. After all, the Lord gave me the chance to visit the great friend of our Ossetia.

Mark was happy, when I wrote him about our possible meeting. He wrote: “Lira, I hope to try once again your incomparable Ossetian pies. I can't forget them.”

I got to Mark's house on Thanksgiving Day. All his family and closest friends gathered at the table. I served my Ossetian pies and we remembered the events of 2008. When I finished my story, Mark told his children how proud he was of the work he had done with us.

LIRA KOZAEVA (Founder of the Association of South Ossetian Women for Democracy and Human Rights).
Lira Kozaeva (Friend)
April 10th, 2013
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"Thinking of you Mark. Will keep making it hot for them. Gone but never forgotten. See you on the other side (later, rather than sooner :) Cheers, Jason"
Jason Booth
April 21st, 2015
"After many years out of touch with Nora, I woke up in the middle of the night with a strong impulse to Google her. It was the first anniversary of Mark's death, a man I never knew, her husband. I'm so sorry, Nora, for your loss; so glad you had him"
Jennifer Nash Flower
January 23rd, 2015
"Mark was remarkable. One of a kind and so laser sharp in his analysis and viewpoints. I have rarely met a person whose judgment I so trusted as Mark's. You are truly missed."
Helen Yu
July 10th, 2013
"When I met Mark, I thought he is doing exactly what he should be doing and probably doing it much better than the rest of us doing whatever we do. He was impressive and thoughtful. I am very sorry for his family for this devastating loss."
Bruce Talley
March 3rd, 2013
"Good bye, my friend. I will face no adventure anywhere in the world without thinking of you."
Steve Ellis
March 1st, 2013


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