Patti Webster

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Patti Webster
PattiWebsterHeadShot.jpg
Born (1964-06-18)June 18, 1964
Somerville, New Jersey, United States
Died September 13, 2013(2013-09-13) (aged 49)
Somerville, New Jersey, United States
Alma mater Virginia Tech
Occupation Publicist, author, minister

Patti Webster (June 18, 1964 – September 13, 2013) was an American entertainment publicist, author, and minister. As the CEO of W&W Public Relations, a company she founded in 1991, Webster represented notable recording artists, athletes, and actors, including Janet Jackson, Alicia Keys, Usher, Halle Berry, Chris Paul and Holly Robinson Peete.[1][2]

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Somerville, New Jersey, Webster majored in engineering and operations research at Virginia Tech. After a series of summer internships, Webster decided not to pursue a career in engineering. Moving to Maryland, she took a job in 1985 as a marketing and publicity assistant at BET, then a fledging network. In 1988, Webster moved to New York.[3]

Career[edit]

Public relations[edit]

In New York, Webster worked at several entertainment-related companies, eventually working as an assistant at Jive Records where she "fell in love with publicity." Subsequently, she was hired by Rogers & Cowan; during her three-year tenure at the company, she worked with Quincy Jones’ Qwest Records, Stevie Wonder, Julio Iglesias, Gloria Estefan, Diana Ross and Celine Dion. In 1991, Webster founded W&W, a public relations agency focused on representing African-Americans,[4] signing her first client, Stephanie Mills, shortly thereafter.[3] By 2013, Webster had built W&W into a highly respected and influential public relations agency,[5] representing celebrities in a wide variety of fields, including Patti LaBelle, BeBe and CeCe Winans, Ludacris, Kelly Rowland, Dwight Howard, and Steve Harvey, as well as organizations including Creflo Dollar Ministries and BMI.[6]

In 2008, Ebony honored Webster with an Outstanding Women In Communications award.[7]

Author, minister, and community service[edit]

Despite her success as a publicist, Webster said that her real job was to spread the word of Jesus Christ.[5] Raised in a family of clergy — her father, mother, great-grandmother, grandmother, and grandfather were pastors — Webster authored the book It Happened in Church: Stories of Humor from the Pulpit to The Pews in 2008. [8] A collection of humorous stories from friends, pastors and celebrities, Webster said "I think that if God created laughter, it isn't to be excluded from church. I think laughter is to be everywhere."[9] Webster was ordained as a minister in 2011 and served as a deaconess at Shiloh Pentecostal Church in Somerville, New Jersey, where she grew up.[10]

She served as a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), on the boards of the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund and the TReach (Therapies Reaching & Educating Autistic Children) Foundation, and on the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s Marketing Mavericks team.[6]

Webster died of cancer at a hospital in Somerville on September 13, 2013.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Associated Press. "Patti Webster, Publicist to Stars, Dies of Cancer". September 13, 2013. ABC News/Associated Press. Retrieved 14 September 2013. 
  2. ^ Mitchell, Gail. "Noted Industry Publicist Patti Webster Dies". September 13, 2013. Billboard. Retrieved 14 September 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Tamarra, Ray. "Patti Webster Founder & President". June 7, 2005. The Crusade. Retrieved 14 September 2013. 
  4. ^ Armstrong, Joy; Wilson, Wendy L. "The Sharpest Image". August 2006. Essence. Retrieved 14 September 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Hicks, Jonathan P. "Publicist Patti Webster Has Died at 49". September 13, 2013. BET. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "Entertainment industry mourns loss of veteran publicist Patti Webster". September 13, 2013. New Jersey Messenger-Gazette. Retrieved 14 September 2013. 
  7. ^ Maul, Kimberly (May 1, 2008). "Ebony honors outstanding women in communications". PR Week. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  8. ^ "Laughing From The 'Pulpit To The Pews'". December 9, 2008. NPR. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  9. ^ King, Gayle. "Humor in the Church". November 27, 2008. Oprah. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  10. ^ Nededog, Jethro. "Patti Webster, Veteran Entertainment Publicist, Dead at 49". September 13, 2013. MSN/The Wrap. Retrieved 14 September 2013. 

External links[edit]