Ken Sunshine

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Ken Sunshine
Nationality United States
Ethnicity Jewish
Education B.A. Cornell University
Occupation public relations consultant
Known for founder of Sunshine Sachs Consultants
Religion Judaism
Spouse(s) Nancy Hollander
Children Jason Hollander Sunshine
Jessica Hollander Sunshine

Ken Sunshine is an American public relations consultant, co-CEO and founder of Sunshine Sachs Consultants. He began is career in New York politics, including serving as chief of staff for Mayor David Dinkins.[1]

Early life[edit]

Sunshine grew up in a Jewish family[2] on Long Island and graduated from the School of Industrial and Labor Relations of Cornell University in 1970 where he was involved in activities to promote social change and political change.[3]


Sunshine started as a community organizer and became a district delegate for George McGovern. He then ran the public relations department of ASCAP, where he supervised music events. In the 1970s, he joined Bella Abzug's Senate, mayoral and congressional campaigns[4] with Harold Holzer.

From 1990 to 1993, Sunshine served as the chief of staff for Mayor David Dinkins, a job that included managing future New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.[5] In 1994, he worked on Mario Cuomo's gubernatorial campaign[6] and is an advisor to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.[7]

In 1991, Sunshine launched the public relations firm Ken Sunshine Consultants. The company was renamed the following year to reflect principal Shawn Sachs's partnership. The initial clients included Barbra Streisand, 1199: The National Health Care Workers' Union and the 1992 Democratic National Convention working with Ron Brown, then chairman of the Democratic Party.[3]

Sunshine Sachs specializes in corporate image programs, crisis communication, reputation management and issues management,[8] consumer and lifestyle marketing, public affairs, media relations, event promotion, and communications skills training. In 2014, Sunshine Sachs was named the number one public relations agency in New York by New York Observer.[9]

His clients have included John Thain, Barbra Streisand, Ben Affleck and the Michael Jackson estate.[10][11] His best-known work included representing Justin Timberlake after a “wardrobe malfunction” at Timberlake's Super Bowl XXXVIII performance with Janet Jackson in February 2004. As of 2009, nine-tenths of his clients were not celebrities.[12]

Wikipedia editing for clients[edit]

In June 2015, Sunshine admitted his firm had employed paid editors to edit clients Wikipedia pages to remove negative material about them, violating the Wikipedia updated terms of service. Sunshine Sachs said its employees failed to make public their relationship with the firm when making edits, and a key employee was unaware of Wikipedia's updated policies on paid editing. All employees engaged in editing Wikipedia now make appropriate disclosures, Sunshine said. Celebrities whose Wikipedia articles were edited by Sunshine Sachs include Naomi Campbell, Mia Farrow and Sarah Brightman.[13] References to the failure of Campbell's 1994 album "Babywoman" were removed, as were her relationship with Mike Tyson and assault convictions.[14] It was unclear if the celebrities themselves were aware of the edits.[13]

The New York Times said an email to clients stated that “Sunshine Sachs has a number of experienced editors on staff that have established profiles on Wikipedia,” and that “the changes we make to existing pages are rarely challenged.” Sunshine said that he believed that his firm's edits to Wikipedia prior to June 2014, when the policy was changed, abided by Wikipedia policy.[13]

Personal life[edit]

He is married to Nancy Hollander[15] who is also Jewish. They have two children: Jason and Jessica.[16]


  1. ^ Hawkins, Andrew. "PR pros tell mayor how to recover". Crains. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  2. ^ Tablet Magazine: "Bill De Blasio’s Two New Rabbinical Allies" By Matt Taylor November 21, 2013
  3. ^ a b Weiss, Rebecca (October 24, 2007). "The Cornell Connection: Ken Sunshine ’70". Cornell Sun. Retrieved 8 July 2015. 
  4. ^ Smith, Elizabeth (13 September 2014). "Ken Sunshine joins The Met’s board of trustees". Page Six. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  5. ^ Campbell, Colin (6 December 2012). "Bill De Blasio For NYC Mayor: Can The Public Advocate Go From Master Strategist To Mister Mayor?". (Huffington Post). Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  6. ^ "Mario Cuomo Advisor Remembers the Former Governor". NY1. 1 January 2015. Retrieved 6 January 2015. 
  7. ^ Nagourney, Andrew; Craig, Susanne (2 January 2015). "One Last Confluence for Mario and Andrew Cuomo, Proud Rivals". New York Times. Retrieved 6 January 2015. 
  8. ^ n/a, n/a. "The Influentials: Media". New York Magazine. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  9. ^ Kaminer, Michael (19 November 2014). "New York’s Top 50 Public Relations Agencies". New York Observer. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  10. ^ Bernstein, Jacob (12 September 2014). "Barbra Streisand, a Voice to Be Reckoned With". (New York Times). Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  11. ^ WEISMAN, ALY. "Meet The 20 Most Powerful Publicists In Hollywood [Ranked]". Business Insider. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  12. ^ Moore, Heidi (January 27, 2009). "Ken Sunshine, the Man Behind John Thain’s Self-Defense". Wall Street Journal (WSJBlog). Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  13. ^ a b c Cieply, Michael (June 22, 2015). "Wikipedia Pages of Star Clients Altered by P.R. Firm". The New York Times. Retrieved June 23, 2015. 
  14. ^ Bates, Daniel (23 June 2015). "Naomi Campbell pays to have her affair with Mike Tyson and her disastrous musical career edited out of Wikipedia". The Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 23 July 2015. 
  15. ^ Politico: "De Blasio ally to hold Clinton fundraiser" by Annie Karni June 5, 2015
  16. ^ The Hampton Synagogue: "Shabbat Shalom: Weekly Update" May 11 - 12, 2012 | Iyar 19 - 20, 5772

External links[edit]