Veteran PR counselor Ofield Dukes dead at 79

He worked with presidential campaigns and world leaders, and became the first African-American to win the Public Relations Society of America’s Gold Anvil award.

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According to the Associated Press, Dukes’ Washington, D.C.-based PR firm, Ofield Dukes & Associates, was “one of the most successful public relations firms in D.C.” He worked with presidential candidates, Black Caucus members, world leaders, organizations, and entertainers.

Dukes also founded the D.C. chapter of the Black Public Relations Society (BPRS) and encouraged African-American students to enter public relations.

“I remember first meeting Mr. Dukes during the first annual BPRS convention back in the late 1990’s in Detroit, his hometown,” Alicia Evans, president emeritus of the Black Public Relations Society of New York, said in an email. “I was amazed to see someone who looked like me having excelled in the world of PR where my experience in so many New York agencies had few who reflected my same hue.

“I am deeply moved by his work, his spirit and the path he has widened for all in the world of public relations.”

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