Warren Cowan & Associates confirmed the iconic publicist died at Cedars-Sinai Hospital Wednesday night, three weeks after he was diagnosed with cancer.
His wife Barbara, daughter Claudia Cowan, and step-daughters Melissa Gilbert and Sara Gilbert were at his bedside, the firm said. He is also survived by daughter Bonnie Fleming and step-son Jonathan Gilbert, as well as grandchildren.
Cowan became a partner in Rogers & Cowan in 1950. The firm was one of the biggest entertainment PR firms in the world for decades, then was sold in 1988 to Shandwick Plc., an English conglomerate.
Cowan said his company had become too administrative for him, leaving him little time to handle publicity. He formed Warren Cowan & Associates in 1994, worked until the day before his death and was finishing his autobiography, Warren Cowan and Associates said.
His client list over the years included Elizabeth Taylor, Kirk Douglas, Frank Sinatra, Tony Curtis, Doris Day, Gene Kelly, Lucille Ball, Judy Garland, Steve McQueen, Natalie Wood, Joan Crawford, Ronald Reagan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Cary Grant, Jack Lemmon, John Wayne, The Doors, Audrey Hepburn and Michael Jackson.