In a sad note heading into the Memorial Day holiday weekend, Rogers & Cowan chairman and stalwart publicist Paul Bloch has died at age 78. He had been fighting a long illness. He had been convalescing at Cedars Sinai, and he died there this morning.

Bloch was considered the consummate publicist. His recent client list included John Travolta, Sly Stallone, Bruce Willis, Robert Zemeckis, Eddie Murphy, Michael Keaton, Jerry Bruckheimer, Brian Grazer, Glenn Gordon Caron, David Beckham, Kevin Costner, Vin Diesel, Barry Gibb (he repped the brothers Gibb since the 1970s), James Caan and a slew of other actors and filmmakers. Over the years, his clients included Tom Cruise, Sharon Stone, Jerry Weintraub, John Hughes, Anthony Hopkins, Danny Glover, Billy Bob Thornton, Priscilla Presley, Nick Nolte and Geena Davis. He helped break in such new talent as Brie Larson and Liam Hemsworth and moved into worldwide representation with Asian superstar Donnie Yen.

Bloch started at R&C in the mailroom way back in 1961, right out of the army. He spent his entire career at R&C, 58 years, mentored by founders Henry Rogers and Warren Cowan, who brought him on to service such star clients as Kirk Douglas and Chuck Connors. Bloch was well liked and considered a stand up guy in a difficult business of managing the images of stars. The UCLA graduate moved up to chairman after serving as head of the agency’s music department. Back then, he repped The Beach Boys, the Bee Gees, Donna Summer, Rod Stewart, Diana Ross, The Carpenters, Kenny Rogers, Trini Lopez, Julio Iglesias and Ricky Nelson, a who’s who of musical artists.

Those who worked with him said he lived for his job and his clients and R&C employees. He was known for an eccentric collection of sweaters and belt buckles.

Bloch in 1991 won the Les Mason Award from the Publicists Guild of America, the highest honor bestowed by the organization.

He is survived by his sister Lois Golden, his nephew Douglas Golden (wife Dianne Golden and nieces Andrea Mohr (husband Michael Mohr) Victoria Silverman (husband Mark Silverman). He was the loving great uncle to Jason and Lexi Mohr, Chase and Courtney Silverman and Jake Alyssa Golden Funeral Services will be private and a Memorial Service is pending