NEW YORK (AP) — Public relations veteran Howard Rubenstein, who for decades polished and protected the images of New York celebrities and power brokers from George Steinbrenner to Donald Trump, has died. He was 88.
Rubenstein died Tuesday at home “in peace and in no pain,” his son Steven Rubenstein wrote on firm’s web site. No cause of death was given.
Howard Rubenstein founded the agency that bears his name in 1954. Polite and soft-spoken, he was the antithesis of the stereotypical curt and fast-talking New York City press agent. But his hundreds of clients — from high-brow cultural institutions to politicians — attested to his clout.
Clients included the Metropolitan Opera, the Archdiocese of New York, media magnate Rupert Murdoch and the late Yankees owner Steinbrenner. Rubenstein worked with Trump during the future president’s highly publicized divorce from Ivana Trump in 1990.
Rubenstein was born in Brooklyn, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and dropped out of Harvard Law School. He started work as a publicist at the suggestion of his father, a news reporter, and initially based his fledgling business in his parent’s kitchen.
He is survived by his wife and three children, Roni, Richard, and Steven Rubenstein, who is president of the firm.
A private graveside service was planned Wednesday.