D.C. public relations trailblazer Ofield Dukes died Wednesday in his hometown of Detroit at the Henry Ford Hospital after enduring a long battle with multiple myeloma, a a rare form of bone cancer. He was 79.

“We are extremely saddened by the loss of our dear friend,” said Gregory Lee Jr., president of the National Association of Black Journalists. “Ofield Dukes revolutionized the public relations industry by increasing the visibility of African-Americans working in the field. Mr. Dukes will forever be regarded as a standard bearer for public relations professionals of all races. A true giant in the world of PR, he will truly be missed.”

Dukes founded Ofield Dukes & Associates in 1969, an African-American-owned public relations firm in D.C. He ran the firm for more than four decades before returning to Detroit in September.
He was considered among the nation’s biggest public relations giants and his firm specialized in minority — specifically African-American and African — and political affairs.

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