Famed Hollywood PR executive Howard Bragman has reportedly died at the age of 66 after a battle with cancer. His friend Mike Maimone confirmed the news of his death in a diary entry:
“The great loss we have lost together cannot be overemphasized – Howard has been a constant in so many of our lives and the brightest star in his constellation of great friends and family.” Another source close to Bragman’s family also confirmed the news in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. A friend of the PR mogul, John Duran, also announced his death on Twitter. Bragman was due to attend a wedding in Mexico with his partner later this month, TMZ reported. However, due to gingivitis and a low-grade fever, he decided to have a medical checkup before the trip.
Unfortunately, the health report revealed that he had cancer. Bragman was diagnosed with “the most aggressive form of leukemia,” and his condition was reported to be “very serious.” The PR executive was hospitalized on February 2 and died less than two weeks later.
“Howard Bragman is an industry leader who deftly uses the power of the media to create positive change and awareness for the LGBTQ community. Throughout his long career, he has worked with many LGBTQ Stories are treated with dignity and have an impact on the wider community,” GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in an explanation. “His popularity as an executive, combined with his trademark sense of humor and bold approach to communications, has left a memorable mark on the media, entertainment and PR industries.”
Born and raised in Michigan, he graduated from the University of Michigan in 1978 and worked at Burson-Marsteller Public Relations in Chicago and Los Angeles. He founded Bragman Nyman Cafarelli (BNC) in 1989 and left in 2001 when it was acquired by the Interpublic Group. Bragman was an associate professor of public relations at the USC Annenberg Center for Communication from 1998 to 2003. In 2005, he founded Fifteen Minutes.
In 2010, Bragman appeared on an episode of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills as Camille Grammer’s rep. That same year, he was a guest judge on the first season of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Bragman excelled at handling public scandals for his clients — he was always in front of the media in breaking news moments and was respected for his wit and insight into the spinning world. An openly gay executive and a staunch advocate for LGBTQ issues, he also advises a host of celebrities, including actress Meredith Baxter, basketball player Shirley Swopes and country singer Cherie Wright.