Industry loses a legend: Norm Cooper


April 7, 2017

Norm CooperAfter a year-long fight with a blood disorder known as myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), Norm Cooper passed away April 5. Cooper, who up until recently worked with PCO Bookkeepers as its merger and acquisition specialist, spent 63 years in the professional pest management industry. Read tributes from his colleagues here.

Cooper, a native New Yorker, began Abby Exterminating Services in 1954 — grossing a total of $35 in his first month. By 1971, however, he was able to sell it to ESCO and serve as its vice president. A year later, he was named president, a position he held until 1996. Retirement did not slow him down, however, as he did consulting both on his own as Norman Cooper Associates and later added his role for PCO Bookkeepers. PMP wrote about his business tips here and here.

Cooper was the 1991-92 president of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). The one-time aspiring artist was interested in promoting a theme of “Guardians of the Environment” for the then-National Pest Control Association, and designed a logo that was adopted by the association in 1993, used throughout the 1990s until they rebranded as NPMA. See several of his paintings in the “Living Large” profile PMP did on him in 2006 here.

He and his wife, Marilyn, traveled internationally both on behalf of the industry as well as one very special trip: With the help of Pi Chi Omega, the couple helped Russian entomologists Drs. Igor and Inna Uspensky leave the Soviet Union for Israel.

Cooper received several industry accolades, including induction into PMP’s Hall of Fame in 1999. His biography is here. In 2014, he received the NPMA’s first Global Ambassador Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2016, he received the NPMA’s Pinnacle Award, the organization’s highest honor.

A funeral service was held at 12:30 p.m. April 9, at Temple Sholom, 300 E. Putnam Ave., Greenwich, Conn. 06830. His three children — Wayne, Shawne and Marshall — eulogized their father; read what they said here.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to support research being led by Norman’s doctor to find a cure for MDS. The address is: Dr. Lewis Silverman Research Program, Mount Sinai Medical Center, One Gustave Levy Place, P.O. Box 1079, New York, NY 10029.

On a personal note, Cooper meant a lot to the PMP team, particularly to Editorial Director and Publisher Marty Whitford and his son Jamie, to whom Cooper sent the flak jacket he wore when he served in the Korean War. Jamie wears it with pride.

Cooper was a longtime friend of the magazine, sharing insights and feedback. He was always willing to write an article or be interviewed for a story, and we will miss him terribly. We are heartened, though, because we know that he experienced  many side effects from MDS and that, as his family announcement notes, “the blessing in all this is that he is now at rest.”

We encourage those who have memories they’d like to share of him in the comments below or dropping us a line at


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  1. Stanley Goldner says:

    I knew Norman many years ago when he operated Abby Exterminating out of
    1127 B’way in N.Y. , just prior to becoming the V.P. at Esco.
    He was a total MENCH in dealing with everyone.
    I still remember the commercial for Black Flag where he said
    Hi I am Norman Cooper and recommend you use Black Flag.
    May he rest in peace