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Art Franklin

Public relations maven

Art Franklin, legendary public relations maven from the 1940s and ’50s who represented musical artists during the swing and big band eras, died Feb. 9 of natural causes in Studio City, Calif. He was 84.

A Brooklyn native with a gift for writing and speaking, he joined the Milt Shaw Agency in Manhattan at the age of 19 and before too long had a client roster that included the Ink Spots, Ella Fitzgerald and the Chick Webb Orchestra. At various times he also represented Jack Benny, Kate Smith and Johnny Ray.

He left the New York public relations field in the late 1950s and eventually relocated with his wife and two daughters to Los Angeles, where he worked as a PR consultant for law firms and fund-raising organizations.

Franklin is survived by a daughter, a grandson and two granddaughters.

Memorial services are pending.

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