His marriage to Mrs. Senior ended in divorce, as did his second to Patricia Aburdene. He and his daughter are survived by his third wife, Doris (Dinklage) Naisbitt; his sons James, David and John; another daughter, Nana Naisbitt; a stepdaughter, Nora Rosenblatt; 11 grandchildren and two stepchildren.
Running out of money after just two semesters, Mr Naisbitt dropped out of college with his first child en route to write executive speeches at Eastman Kodak in Rochester, NY
He and his family moved to Chicago in 1957, where he worked in public relations. He worked in Washington between 1963 and 1966, first as assistant to the director of the National Education Commission, then as assistant to the secretary for health, education and social affairs.
He first developed his method for trend analysis while on a contract to evaluate the effects of various Great Society programs under President Lyndon B. Johnson. A fan of American history, he had read Civil War books by Bruce Catton, who relied heavily on contemporary newspapers to get a feel for the mood of the country during the war.
“I went to a newsstand and bought about 50 newspapers out of town,” he told The Christian Science Monitor in 1982. “And I was absolutely stunned by what I learned in three hours about what was going on in America.”
He called it “content analysis” and after returning to Chicago he put it into practice with his first company, Urban Research Corporation. Long before computers did this job almost instantly, Mr. Naisbitt employed a small army of analysts to read dozens of newspapers daily and cut stories of urban protests, crime, and campus rioting, which he relied on to produce reports for nonprofits and writing to corporate clients.
After the end of his first marriage and the loss of his company, he moved back to Washington in the mid-1970s and opened another similar company. It also failed and resulted in bankruptcy filing in 1977.