Howard J. Rubenstein
Howard J. Rubenstein
Rubenstein at the 2010 Time 100 Gala
|Known for||Public relations|
Rubenstein grew up in a Jewish-American household in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, on 74th St. near Bay Parkway with an older sister, June. His mother, Ada, an immigrant from Russia when she was nine, was a homemaker, and his father, Sam, was a Jewish crime reporter for the Herald Tribune. He graduated from Midwood High School in Brooklyn, and then from the University of Pennsylvania Phi Beta Kappa in 1953 with a degree in economics. He then attended Harvard Law School, but dropped out partway through the first semester.
He then began writing press releases for a Brooklyn nursing home, the Menorah Home and Hospital for the Aged and Infirm, after his father had introduced him to some officials at the home. Initially he worked out of his parents' kitchen, but later moved out after his parents refused to answer the phone saying "Rubenstein Associates".
Business grew quickly; as Rubenstein later said, "I was the only Democratic press agent in Brooklyn, so the politicians started coming to me". He enrolled in St. John's University Law School to take night classes, and graduated in 1959 first in his class. He then took a job as an assistant counsel to the House Judiciary Committee, but quit after six months.
He is the president and founder of Rubenstein Associates, which has been described as the most influential public relations organization in New York City. Rubenstein Associates has two affiliates: Rubenstein Public Relations and Rubenstein Communications, Inc. The firm was founded in 1954. Rubenstein's more notable clients include many of New York's iconic organizations including: The New York Yankees, News Corporation, Columbia University, New York Philharmonic, Sarah – Duchess of York, Rupert Murdoch since 1976, both Fred Trump and Donald Trump since 1973, and The Metropolitan Opera.
Rubenstein is a founder of NADAP, a private nonprofit social services organization that serves residents of the New York City metropolitan area.
In 1959, Rubenstein married Amy Forman, whose family had purchased the Peter Luger Steak House in 1950. They have a daughter, Roni (born 1961), and three sons, David (1962-1971), Richard (born 1965), and Steven (born 1969). Roni is a former district attorney. Richard works for Rubenstein Public Relations and has Donald Trump as one of his clients. Steven heads Rubenstein Communications. Inc. and has Amazon.com as one of his clients.
- Blaine Harden (September 30, 1999). "Image Spinner at the Center of a Web; Rubenstein, 'Dean of Damage Control' for New York's Powerful". New York Times. Retrieved July 25, 2009.
- Ken Auletta (February 12, 2007). "The Fixer: Why New Yorkers call Howard Rubenstein when they've got a problem". The New Yorker. Retrieved August 26, 2009.
- "Paul Bendix Rubenstein's Obituary on Herald Tribune". Retrieved September 30, 2016.
- Richard T. Pienciak (June 8, 1997). "Howard J. Rubenstein is the Prince of Public Relations Who Rose From His Own Corner Office Knowing That... Image Is Everything". New York Daily News. Retrieved July 25, 2009.[permanent dead link]
- William Geist (April 8, 1990). "What Really Makes New York Work; Dan Klores: The Man Behind The Images". New York Times. Retrieved July 25, 2009.
- Richard Sandomir (July 1, 2005). "BASEBALL; The Voice of the Boss Is Often a Voice of Reason". New York Times. Retrieved August 26, 2009.
- "Rubenstein PR: Howard, Steven, and Richard - A PR Dynasty". September 29, 2015. Retrieved September 30, 2016.
- A film clip "The Open Mind - A Further Conversation with a PR Guru (2007)" is available at the Internet Archive