CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago publicist Dori Wilson has died at age 77; she was a trailblazer in Black-owned business history in the city.
The fashion and public relations giant died Monday, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office. A cause of death was not provided.
A representative from Wilson's public relations firm said her death was very sudden.
Wilson graduated from Hyde Park High School and Roosevelt University.
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She was the first major Black runway model in Chicago for Marshall Field's and Carson's.
She went on to found Dori Wilson Public Relations in Chicago as a groundbreaking Black entrepreneur.
In a statement Tuesday, Wilson's company called her an "authentic trailblazer , pioneer and entrepeneuer."
"She was dynamic, my God, and she would never took no for an answer," said her friend Michale Kutza.
Former model Candace Jordan said Wilson was one of the first people she met when she moved to Chicago in the 1970s.
"She was a beautiful woman inside and out with a big, big heart," said Jordan. "She was always a champion for the underdog."
Longtime friend Chaz Ebert says her most precious memory of Wilson is discovering she loved to go fishing.
"She said no Chaz when I am out fishing it's just me, nature, God and the fish, and I'm completely unadorned and I'm in heaven, so I want to think of her as gone fishing," said Ebert.
Condolences were pouring into Wilson's Facebook page early Tuesday. Wilson's family could not immediately be reached for comment.
Full statement from Wilson's company:
"Dori Wilson was an authentic trailblazer, pioneer and entrepreneur. Dori's public relations firm was widely respected nationwide and served a broad cross section of iconic businesses and community minded organizations. She raised the bar among those serving public good. As a business owner, she brought boundless energy, wicked humor, friendship and a deep knowledge of her craft as exemplified by her many awards and recognitions. She was a vocal advocate of Chicago. Our City has lost a real legend and civic champion."
Chicago publicist Dori Wilson, trailblazer in Black-owned business, dead at 77
Wilson was 1st major Black runway model in Chicago for Marshall Field's, Carson's