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Perry Lieber; Public Relations Man for Howard Hughes

December 15, 1988

Perry Lieber, a one-time Hollywood press agent who became a friend and confidant of Howard Hughes when the eccentric billionaire took over RKO studios and then became Hughes' spokesman through his Las Vegas empire-building period, is dead.

Lieber was 83 and died Monday night in Las Vegas. He had suffered from cancer and was honored earlier this year by First Lady Nancy Reagan for his personal fight against the disease.

Lieber's career in public relations spanned 58 years.

He worked in a Chicago advertising agency after attending the University of Illinois and joined RKO in 1930. There and on his own he worked with many top stars including John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, Cary Grant, Jane Russell, Ginger Rogers, Ingrid Bergman and Debbie Reynolds.

He began his association with Hughes in 1948 when the one-time film director and producer purchased RKO.

In 1955, Lieber moved to 20th Century Fox and stayed there until 1970 when he went to Las Vegas as Hughes' publicity director. He often was Hughes' voice as the late billionaire acquired four hotels and six casinos in Las Vegas and Reno and thousands of acres of vacant land in and around Las Vegas.

Lieber handled all public relations for Hughes' Summa Corp., the umbrella company for Hughes' vast holdings, until his death.

He is survived by his wife, Josephine, two sons and five grandchildren.

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