Publicity Icon Pat Tobin Loses Bout With Cancer
The legacy of public relations icon Patricia L. Tobin will be her unforgettable warm smile, her unyielding passion for minorities, women and children and in her final days steadfastly believing that not even a fatal cureless form of cancer will prevent her from carrying on.
She fought graciously and with humility her battle with colon cancer, but seldom made it a topic of conversation and assumed to the painful conclusion that she would someday survive it. Tobin died on Tuesday June 10 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. She was 65.
Tobin moved to Los Angeles from White Plains, New York in 1977 to accommodate her daughter as an aspiring child actress, but ultimately discovered that her niche was in the field of public relations where the lasting impact exceeded that.
She founded Tobin & Associates 25 years ago and cultivated and developed relationships with film writer/producer Spike Lee and the late esteemed criminal attorney Johnny Cochran, just to name a few.
In a demanding industry that is predicated upon relationships and congested with a sea of such companies, she stood out above the crowd.
Tobin realized early-on the impact and financial power of the African American consumer and was instrumental in mending auto giant Toyota’s relationship with Blacks, building community relations and bridging delicate bonds of the automaker with such organizations as the Urban League during her 20-year relationship with Toyota as a client.
Just as with Toyota, her successful track record in the PR industry was not limited to Southern California where her clients also included The Cochran Firm, Essence Entertainment, Wells Fargo and the Los Angeles NAACP.
She was the co-founder of National Black Public Relations Society, an organization that spurned the careers of many other minority men and women, who were to later follow in her footsteps.
While vastly accomplished, she was honored in June 2007 by the African American Business Summit for being a distinguished leader in her profession, one of the numerous tributes that she received during her infatigable career.
“My Pat, did it her way! She loved, laughed, served and she gave. She left her heart prints forever on my heart,” said Janice Smallwood-McKenzie, The Networking Coach. Jacqueline Castillo, founder and president of Legacy Ladies Inc., stated, “Pat Tobin was an advisory board member and faithful servant to the Legacy Ladies. She has been called to a higher level, but her passion for life and her perseverance and commitment to serve others is a legacy that will reverberate through the many lives she has touched on earth.”
One of her latest clients and friend Michael McCant, CEO of Billionaire Catt Entertainment was stunned when he was told of her demise.
“I was hoping that I would be able to see her soon. She was a true friend and someone that I will greatly miss. There will never be another Pat Tobin,” he said.
Tobin’s greatest love of all was undoubtedly for her grandson Aaron Curry, a 16-year-old student/athlete at Campbell Hall High School in North Hollywood.
Tobin will not be mourned with a funeral service, but instead the family has planned a celebration of her life within the next two weeks and the site and time has yet to be determined.
Tobin is survived by one sister, Daisey Tinson; one brother, William Randolph; one daughter, Lauren Tobin; and one grandson, Aaron Curry; and a host of friends.