Publicist Patti Webster Has Died at 49

Though she repped big names like Halle Berry and Janet Jackson, the founder of W&W Public Relations said her real job was spreading the word of Jesus Christ.

Posted: 09/13/2013 01:09 PM EDT

 (Photo: W&W Public Relations)

She has been widely recognized as one of the most influential and successful publicists, having represented some of the best-known entertainers in the nation.

And so, the death of Patti Webster at age 49 of cancer in Somerville, New Jersey, has drawn a huge outpouring of emotion from the artists, athletes and ministers whom she represented over the years as well as tributes from the industry where she made a huge name for herself.

“Just got the devastating news that my publicist Patti Webster passed away this morning,” tweeted gospel recording artist James Fortune. “My thoughts & prayers are with the family!”

Similarly, Holly Robinson Peete, who worked with the powerful publicist, offered a tribute and tweeted: "Completely devastated at the loss of Patti Webster. She was my publicist, mentor, trusted confidante I LOVE YOU.”

Magic Johnson was among those who tweeted condolences, calling her a "sensational publicist." Go here for a full list of celebrity tweets.

The client list of her W&W Public Relations firm was a veritable who’s who of the entertainment and sports industries. It included Halle Berry, Bow Wow, Creflo Dollar Ministries, Steve Harvey, Usher, Chris Paul, Alicia Keys and Janet Jackson.

Her firm was established in 1991 with a vision to have a public relations agency that could cross-promote its clients across all types of media and in all genres, including music, film, television, sports, corporate entertainment and religion.

Prior to starting W&W, Webster worked for the New York office of Rogers & Cowan Public Relations. For three years, she worked on a variety of music and corporate entertainment accounts, including Quincy Jones' Qwest Records, Stevie Wonder, Julio Iglesias, Gloria Estefan, Paula Abdul, Celine Dion and B.B. King.

Webster’s passion for public relations was secondary to her faith. She was a deaconess at Shiloh Pentecostal Church in Somerville, New Jersey, where her father, Rev. Sidney J. Webster, serves as pastor. She became an ordained minister in November 2011. In 2008, she wrote a book about uplifting stories about church and God called It Happened in Church: Stories of Humor From the Pulpit to the Pews.

Webster was a professed NBA junkie and enjoyed international travel, reading, attending NBA games and playing all types of games.

She is survived by her father, Rev. Sidney Webster, two sisters, Lori McNeil and Michelle Green, two brothers, Scott Webster and Peter Webster, and a host of nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins and dear friends. She was preceded in death by her mother, Pastor Patricia Webster.

Services will be announced soon.

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