Howard Rubenstein, famous NYC publicist, dead at 88
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Tributes poured in Wednesday for late legendary New York City public relations powerhouse Howard Rubenstein.
Rubenstein, 88 — whose clients were a who’s who of the rich and famous — passed away “in peace and in no pain” Tuesday, his son, Steven Rubenstein, said in a statement.
“Howard Rubenstein was a wonderful man, a friend and trusted advisor to countless people. But above all, a huge contributor to New York’s life and times, particularly in periods of crisis,” said Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of News Corp., which owns The Post.
“We first crossed paths when he was helping Mayor Abe Beame’s re-election campaign and the NY Post had endorsed Ed Koch. We became firm friends and his advice and help over several decades was immensely valuable to both myself and News Corp,” Murdoch said.
Steven Rubenstein said his father, who was born in Brooklyn, died after “what can only be described as a big, full life.
“My dad saw himself as a kid from Bensonhurst, a Harvard Law School dropout who had been afforded enormous opportunity in and by New York,” Steven tweeted.
“His mark has been felt around the world, but especially among the institutions, people, and edifices of his beloved New York.
“While today is a sad one, my father was never one to wallow,” Steven Rubenstein added. “He would often say, ‘I always choose to walk on the sunny side of the street.’
“He helped to invent contemporary public relations, and made it his life’s passion to elevate it into an ethical and honorable profession. He was also a co-founder of the @ABetterNY, which helped solve the City’s fiscal crisis in the 1970s.”
Manhattan state Sen. Brad Hoylman called Howard Rubenstein the definition of “a mensch.
“The word ‘mensch’ in the dictionary should have a photo of Howard Rubenstein next to it,” the pol tweeted. “There are few New Yorkers who’ve played such an outsized role in shaping NYC for the better. May his memory be a blessing.”
New York state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli added on Twitter, “NY lost a giant with the passing of Howard Rubenstein. He was a master at PR, and I valued his counsel and friendship. My thoughts are with his family.”
Steven Rubenstein said on the company’s website that a “private graveside service” will be held for his father Thursday and “we will be planning a remote memorial service in the days ahead.
“I will follow up with details once it is set, and I hope you will join us then,” he wrote.
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