Saying Goodbye to Greenwich Icon and Friend, David Ogilvy

By Anne W. Semmes

On Monday, the Town of Greenwich lost one its most notable citizens, David Ogilvy, a realtor with an international reach, with a lifelong commitment to his community. He died at age 77 from his off-again-on-again battle with Multiple Myeloma, surrounded by his family. 

Ogilvy grew up with a name synonymous with advertising – his father David was founder of the Ogilvy & Mather advertising agency, but young David’s expertise would be in buying and selling some of Greenwich’s most beautiful residences. Founding David Ogilvy & Associates in 1985 that became the exclusive affiliate for Christie’s International Real Estate, he recently sold his firm to Sotheby’s International Realty in 2019. 

“I started in real estate at age 24,” he once told, “and have loved it ever since.”

“David was the consummate gentleman and a purveyor of all things real estate,” said Pam Pagnani, Sotheby’s senior vice president and Greenwich brokerage manager. “His name is synonymous with Greenwich real estate, and his legend will live on. We all thought of David as a trusted and talented colleague. He is what every agent aspired to be. He will be missed greatly, and we will proudly carry on his legacy.”

Once asked during his tenure with David Ogilvy Associates, how he would approach selling a $10 million house versus a $1 million house,” he replied, “Everybody’s house is their castle. We always mention that. The $1 million house is as important to that owner as it is to the $10 million house owner. I hope that everybody who buys a house loves the house. That’s why we’re in the business. As a company we work very hard finding the right house for the right person, so it is a love affair.”

Ogilvy was also proud of his town and spent considerable time working to conserve its historic houses and properties. He served on the Advisory Council of the Greenwich Historical Society, and was former president of the Greenwich Land Trust, and a longtime supporter of the Greenwich Tree Conservancy. His efforts were also instrumental in conserving the Pomerance-Tuchman property in Cos Cob next to the Montgomery Pinetum, and in the town’s acquisition of the Laddins Rock Preserve in Old Greenwich.  He was first recipient of Audubon’s Lifetime Conservation Achievement Award.

With his profile of grace and generosity in his service to his community Ogilvy was honored as one of only two recipients ever to receive the Boys & Girls Club National Medallion award. The list of his non-profit support goes on and on, but one has to add his being chosen Harpoon Club Honoree. He was actively involved in supporting the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. Whatever organization he loved, he left it in a better place.

A graduate of Brunswick School, Ogilvy had attended Greenwich Country Day School that would honor him with their Distinguished Alumni Award. With a love of sailing, he would serve as Commodore of the Belle Haven Yacht Club.

He leaves behind his devoted wife Anne, daughters Melinda Fairfield Ogilvy, and Charlotte and Wells Poler. In addition, he is survived by his stepchildren from his first marriage, Fridolf, William, Stillman and Christopher Hanson. 

David Ogilvy will be remembered tomorrow, Saturday, at 3 p.m. at a memorial service at Christ Church Greenwich, 254 East Putnam Avenue. 

His obituary can be found on page 8 of the Greenwich Sentinel paper.

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