PR strategist, former Coleman Young press secretary Bob Berg dies

Bob Berg

One of Michigan's foremost public affairs advisors and strategists, Bob Berg has died.

Berg, 76, died at his home surrounded by family after a long battle with cancer. Berg, a founder of the public relations firm Berg Muirhead and Associates, served as a press secretary for former Detroit Mayor Coleman Young and worked with former Gov. William G. Milliken as an executive public affairs assistant.
According to a release, career as a political advisor was truly bipartisan. Berg worked under Michigan Gov. Milliken from 1977 to 1982, and then served as press secretary to Detroit Mayor Young from 1983 to 1993. In 1998, he founded the Detroit-based public relations firm Berg Muirhead and Associates with his business partner Georgella Muirhead. 

His firm, now Van Dyke Horn, was sold to longtime employees Peter Van Dyke and Marilyn Horn in 2016. Berg continued to serve of counsel until shortly before his passing. The firm continues as Michigan's largest minority-owned public relations firm.

Berg is survived by his long-time partner, Wanda Brock; his three children: Erik Berg (Shannon) of Portland, Oregon; Melanie Berg of Lansing; and Lola Kristina Gibson-Berg of Detroit; and four grandchildren: Hayden, Charlie, Fran and Ingrid. He also is survived by a sister, Karen Dolan, of Western Springs, Illinois; and a brother, Glenn, of Cissna Park, Illinois. A third brother, Richard, passed in 1960.

According to the release, "Bob's contributions to the community have been honored over the years by numerous recognitions, including New Detroit, Inc.'s John Rakolta Jr. Leadership in Race Relations Award, and the Urban League's Distinguished Warrior recognition. Additionally, the Berg Muirhead Scholarship for Public Relations Student Advancement was established at Wayne State University by Van Dyke and Horn in 2016 to honor his contributions to the communications field."

In a statement The Van Dyke Horn team said it, "mourns Bob's passing. We remember and celebrate our mentor and friend for his unerring moral compass, his patient and thoughtful counsel, and his humble manner that led him to always place clients, our team, and his family and friends first. He is deeply missed."

Arrangements, as well as information regarding charitable donations in lieu of flowers, are forthcoming, the firm said.