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First Black Woman to Own National PR Firm Dies at 98

Inez Yeargan Kaiser

Inez Yeargan Kaiser stood just 5 feet tall, but she was a force to be reckoned with. The 98-year-old entrepreneur recently died, leaving behind an impressive record of accomplishments... and firsts, like being the first African American woman to own a national public relations company.
Her accomplishments

Kaiser was born April 22, 1918, in Kansas City, Missouri, received a bachelor’s degree in education from Pittsburg State University in 1941, a master’s degree from Columbia University, and was later awarded an honorary doctorate from Lincoln University.

Kaiser's company, Inez Kaiser & Associates, was founded in 1957 when it was not very popular for black women to own their own company. In fact, she was the very first black woman to open her own business in Kansas City.

Other firsts

She was also the first African-American to join the Public Relations Society of America, the world’s largest and foremost organization of public relations professionals, who referred to Kaiser as "well-respected for her ability to lobby passionately for what she believes is right.” She was also the first black woman to join the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.

Kaiser was known to be an advisor to the White House on matters pertaining to minority women and business during both the Nixon and Ford administrations. Her famous advice to other entrepreneurs was: “Always be thorough and honest with your clients, and try your best to develop personal relationships with them.”

Read more about Inez Yeargan Kaiser at