Howard Benjamin Bragman
February 24, 1956
Flint, Michigan, U.S.
|Died||February 11, 2023 (aged 66)|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of Michigan|
|Occupation(s)||Crisis manager, publicist|
|Relatives||Lizzy Caplan (niece)|
Early life and education
Howard Benjamin Bragman was born to a Jewish family in Flint, Michigan, on February 24, 1956, the son of Myrna (Wolin) and Leonard Bragman. He graduated with a B.A. in journalism and psychology from the University of Michigan in 1978. Later, Bragman acknowledged that support of the LGBTQ+ Spectrum Center and accepting atmosphere of the university helped him to come out.
Upon graduation, Bragman pursued a career in public relations and crisis management. After serving as a vice president in the Chicago and Los Angeles offices of Burson-Marsteller Public Relations, Bragman founded Bragman Nyman Cafarelli (BNC) in 1989. In 2001, BNC was purchased by Interpublic Group, a holding company for marketing firms. In 2005, Bragman established Fifteen Minutes, a strategic media and public relations agency. Bragman founded LaBrea Media in 2018 as a consultant, pundit, and content creator. Bragman was an adjunct professor of public relations at the University of Southern California's Annenberg Center for Communication from 1998 to 2003. He is the author of the best-selling book, Where's My Fifteen Minutes? (2008), through Penguin Portfolio.
In 2016, Bragman was approached by film producer Glen Zipper, who was working with Paul Haggis on Lead and Copper, a documentary about the Flint water crisis. Being a Flint native, Bragman joined Paul Haggis' crew to assist with public relations and historical insight into industrial era of the city.
Bragman provided litigation support as a crisis counselor for cases and individuals including Joseph Steffan, the Lewinsky family, and Sharon Smith in Smith v. Knoller. He was also involved with both the accusers and the accused in the #MeToo movement.
Bragman was vice chairman of the management firm Reputation.com.
As a "coming out" advisor, Bragman consulted a number of celebrities, including American actress and producer Meredith Baxter, basketball players John Amaechi and Sheryl Swoopes, country music artist Chely Wright, and NFL player Michael Sam.
Community work and charity endeavors
Bragman was active in the AIDS/HIV community on lesbian and gay civil rights, Jewish causes, and First Amendment protections. He received awards and honors from AIDS Project Los Angeles, Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, and Congregation Kol Ami. Bragman was the founder of the Jewish Image Awards, honoring positive portrayals of Jews in television and film.
According to the online magazine Mlive, "Bragman helped organize the February 2016 'Hollywood for Flint' benefit in California that raised more than $35,000 for the Flint Child Health and Development Fund of the Community Foundation of Greater Flint."
In September 2021, Bragman made a $1 million endowment to found the Howard Bragman Coming Out Fund at the University of Michigan. The fund will be managed by the Spectrum Center, an LGBTQIA+ support center that was formed at the college in 1970.
Bragman was a news consultant for ABC News from 2010. He also made multiple appearances on local and network news programs including The Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, Today Show, and Larry King Live, as well as in national and local magazines and newspapers including Playboy, the Los Angeles Times, and others.
- Weisman, Aly (November 25, 2014). "PR Guru's Advice To Bill Cosby: 'Shut Up And Disappear'". Business Insider. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
- McDonald, Patrick Range (August 16, 2010). "Hollywood PR Guru Howard Bragman Signs JetBlue's Steven Slater". LA Weekly. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
- Aliotta, Ann Marie (September 10, 2021). "Howard Bragman creates million-dollar 'coming out' fund". The University of Michigan.
- Haire, Julie (January 21, 2009). "So What Do You Do, Howard Bragman, Fifteen Minutes Public Relations CEO?". Mediabistro. Retrieved December 2, 2014.
- Marie Aliotta, Ann (September 10, 2021). "Howard Bragman creates million-dollar 'coming out' fund". University of Michigan.
- "Leonard Bragman". Sun-Sentinel.
- Genzlinger, Neil (February 15, 2023). "Howard Bragman, Publicist Who Helped Clients Come Out, Dies at 66". The New York Times. Retrieved February 15, 2023.
- Hod, Itay (March 12, 2014). "How Howard Bragman Orchestrated Michael Sam's Coming Out". Daily Beast. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
- Lieber, Chavie (March 6, 2018). "Oprah Is the Original Celebrity Influencer". Racked. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
- Pringle, Paul; Ryan, Harriet; Hamilton, Matt; Elmahrek, Adam (August 31, 2017). "Investigators seek photos and videos of former USC medical school dean with drugs". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
- Torrance, Kelly Jane (October 4, 2009). "Letterman's TV admission called adept PR". The Washington Times. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
- Oscar-winning director working on Flint water crisis documentary, report says The Flint Journal via MLive.com, February 5, 2017
- "Paul Haggis Documentary to Explore Flint Water Crisis". ColorLines. December 9, 2016.
- "PR's 'Gay Guru' Helps Celebrities Come Out". NPR. April 28, 2011. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
- Canfield, Dan (August 19, 2017). "Anthony Scaramucci Has Reportedly Hired the Hollywood Publicist Who Represented Monica Lewinsky". Vulture. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
- Cullins, Ashley; Sun, Rebecca (January 12, 2018). "The New #MeToo Economy: Hollywood Lawyers, Crisis PR Pros Seeing "Unprecedented" Uptick in Business". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
- Kilday, Gregg (October 5, 2011). "Howard Bragman Joining Reputation.com as Vice Chairman". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
- Kickpatrick, Emily (March 17, 2021). "Sharon Osbourne Denies New Allegations of Racism and Bullying". Vanity Fair.
- "How Anthony Scaramucci wound up at the Golden Globes". The Washington Post.
- "Scaramucci hires 'Fifteen Minutes,' Hollywood PR firm". Politico.
- "Spokesman to stars Howard Bragman lists in Hollywood Hills". Los Angeles Times. October 10, 2012.
- "Chaz Bono calls off his engagement". Today.
- "When Gay News (Or Crisis) Hits Hollywood, Gay Public Relations Guru Shines". NPR.org. NPR.
- Halperin, Shirley (February 12, 2023). "Howard Bragman, Public Relations Veteran and Founder of BNC and Fifteen Minutes PR, Dies at 66". Variety. Retrieved February 12, 2023.
- Ramos, Dino-Ray (August 19, 2017). "Anthony Scaramucci Signs With Hollywood PR Firm — Report". Deadline.
- "Before Kevin McClatchy came out as gay, he called 'the midwife' for help".
- Bahr, Lindsey. "Howard Bragman, publicist for Cameron Diaz and Sharon Osbourne, dies at 66 after leukemia battle". USA Today. Retrieved February 14, 2023.
- "Congregation Kol Ami".
- Hartog, Kelly (November 23, 2006). "Schmoozing with celebrities on Israel's behalf". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
- "U-M Spectrum Center's Largest Gift Ever Helps Celebrate its 50th Anniversary". The Detroit Jewish News.
- "Flint Native Who Found Acceptance in Ann Arbor Just Created a $1 Million 'Coming Out Fund' for U of M Students". Pride Source. September 15, 2021.
- "The History of Spectrum Center". The University of Michigan.
- Villarreal, Yvonne (March 26, 2012). "Camille Grammer won't return to 'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills'". Los Angeles Times.
- Avery, Dan (October 14, 2013). "RuPaul's Drag Race Season 1 Ru-Cap: 'Queens of All Media'". NewNowNext. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
- LA Weekly: "The Secret Lives of Queer Leading Men"
- "Amaechi Becomes First NBA Player To Come Out", ESPN.com, by Chris Sheridan. February 9, 2007.
- "Paula's Tale of the Tape", E!Online by Sarah Hall. June 1, 2007.