Remembering Howard Bragman
By Will Armstrong
I will always cherish the memories of my friend and mentor Howard Bragman. Many people know Howard as a renowned Hollywood public relations rep with decades of experience, an LGBTQ advocate, and a passionate supporter of the entertainment industry. He was also a fantastic mentor and friend to me during an important transition in my life. When I wasn't sure which way to go next, he saw something in me and encouraged me to dive head-first into Brands Public Relations. In his book "Where''s My Fifteen Minutes?" Howard goes into great length about the importance and power of mentorship and I know there are many of us out there who have benefitted from his commitment to coaching the next generation of publicists.
We had many lunches talking about PR opportunities and stories from his career in Hollywood, as well as his advocacy efforts on behalf of the LGBTQ community. He was also famous for his parties at his home, where friends from all areas of his life could come together to celebrate each other.
Unfortunately, Howard passed away from acute monocytic leukemia a few days before his 67th birthday. He was taken from us too soon, but I will never forget his impact on my life and how grateful I am to have had him in it.
Howard taught me so much during our time together - from how to craft the perfect pitch to advice on facing difficult challenges - but most importantly he taught me not to be afraid to dream big and believe that anything is possible if you work hard enough for it. His positive attitude towards life inspired everyone around him, making them smile even in the toughest of times, which is what made him the best of the best in the area of Crisis Management.
He also made sure that everyone felt included, no matter their identity or background; this was especially true when it came to advocating for LGBTQ rights both in Hollywood and beyond. He made sure that everyone's voice was heard loud and clear by giving them platforms and opportunities they might not have otherwise had access to.
Howard was more than just a colleague; he became family over time, someone who believed in me when I didn't believe in myself. Without him I would not be here today doing what I love most - telling stories and helping build companies through the art of Public Relations - so for that, I am eternally grateful for everything he did for me and all those around him who were lucky enough to know him well enough.
I know some people say "you don't really miss someone until they're gone." But with Howard there are no doubts - his star shone brightly while here on earth, leaving behind a legacy of kindness and support that will continue long after he is gone. While my heart aches to know that he is no longer with us physically, I will carry with me all the memories we shared together always. Rest In Peace, Howard.