Ruth Edelman, deputy chairman of DJE Holdings, parent company of her late husband's global public-relations firm, Edelman, died Sunday after battling acute myloid leukemia for the past eight months. She was 84 years old.
Husband and agency founder Dan Edelman passed away last January.
"We will remember Ruth as a true partner to my late father, Dan," said their son Richard Edelman, who runs the global PR agency network, in an email sent to employees. "She traveled the world with him, visiting Edelman offices, engaging with the teams and making them feel part of the family. She was the best new-business person, finding a new CEO in town at a cocktail party, befriending him, then bringing Dan over to close the deal. She offered Dan advice on acquisitions or hires based on a superb intuition."
Richard Edelman also remembered his mother's knack for entertaining and socializing. She helped former U.S. Sen. Charles Percy organize community events for more than a decade and she later assumed the role of special events chair for the state of Illinois under Gov. Jim Thompson.
"Ruth was the best entertainer in Chicago," he wrote in the email to employees. "She had an eye for detail; she planned every meal perfectly, replete with flowers, especially her beloved orchids. She was a devoted friend who had a strong interest in the welfare of anyone who was in her life."
Ms. Edelman supported numerous health organizations and nonprofits, including the National Depressive and Manic-Depressive Association. In 1994, she became the first individual outside of the medical community to receive the National Depressive and Manic-Depressive Association's Jan Fawcett Humanitarian Award. She was an advocate for the Save the Children Foundation, Chicago Project for Violence Prevention and Committee for Economic Growth of Israel. She was also active in Chicago's fine-arts community.
Ms. Edelman is survived by her three children: Richard and Renee of New York, and John of Chicago; as well as three granddaughters Margot, Victoria and Amanda Edelman, all of New York. In addition to her children and granddaughters, Ms. Edelman is survived by her sister Rosalie Aronin and her daughters-in-law Roz Edelman and Susie Krohn.