People Remembered: Robert Black

Robert Black, a longtime OPC member with a distinguished career in journalism and public relations, died on Feb. 4 from complications related to Covid. He was 94 years old.

Black recently contributed to an OPC piece celebrating colleagues whose club membership had spanned more than 50 years. In a message sent last October, he recounted joining the OPC in 1955 at the behest of Bob Considine, who was president at the time, after covering an OPC luncheon at the club’s headquarters on 39th Street while he was still a student at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He said Considine sponsored his membership after learning Black had worked for Stars & Stripes in Tokyo during the Korean War.

In 2021, he wrote a remembrance about his career and history with the OPC for the Bulletin. He said he had “worked for some pretty good magazines, did a lot of free-lancing, held a lot of public relations jobs and in 1995 became an adjunct professor of journalism at his undergrad school, Florida Southern College (1951).” His work included sports coverage for The Associated Press, consulting editor for Popular Science, boating and travel magazines, and freelance writing for The New York Times, the New York Herald Tribune, the St. Petersburg Times, the Tampa Bay Times and the Norwalk Hour. He worked in public relations as a director for the National Council on the Aging, Swissair North America and assistant director for Time Inc., and in 1964 he joined H. A. Bruno as an account executive and rose to the rank of executive vice president.

He ran his own public relations agency, Bob Black and Company Inc., from 1974 to 2015.

“Back in the days when I was drinking, the bar of the OPC was a wondrous place of top journos and some captains of journalistic organizations,” he wrote. “Great stories every day at lunch. Brilliant and smart men and women. It was a joy (and a learning experience) to be part of it.”

His partner, Marcia Doscher, said in an email that she “was truly blessed being with Bob, as his significant life partner.” She said that until his recent illness, he was involved in writing public relations news for various social service agencies in the community surrounding Sun City Center, Florida.