Trout began his commercial career in the advertising department of General Electric. From there, he became a divisional advertising manager for Uniroyal. He then joined Al Ries in the advertising agency and marketing strategy firm, where they worked together for over twenty-six years. He was the founder and president of the international marketing strategy company "Trout and Partners." The company is represented in offices in many countries around the world, including emerging markets. Trout has worked with several companies including AT & T, Apple, Citicorp, General Electric, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, Southwest Airlines and Xerox. In the fall of 2002, Trout began working with the US State Department to "train new diplomats in the art of projecting a positive image of America abroad" as part of the America brand campaign that sought to improve public opinion on next Iraq War. Trout died of intestinal cancer at his home in Old Greenwich, Connecticut, at age 82
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