MIAMI—Richard Weiner, who built his own public relations firm—which later became part of Porter Novelli—and authored more than 20 public relations books, died at the end of January in Miami Beach, Fla. He was 86.

Weiner joined Ruder & Finn and later became a senior vice president and partner at the firm. In 1968, he founded his own eponymous firm, which grew over the next 18 years to become one of the 15 largest PR agencies in the United States, achieving great fame for its work on the introduction of the Cabbage Patch Kids introduction in the early 1980s.
In 1986, Weiner sold the company to the BBDO advertising agency, which later merged with two other agencies to form the Omnicom Group. Omnicom then merged its three PR companies—Weiner (the largest), Doremus and Porter Novelli—under the Porter Novelli brand, and Weiner maintained an office with the firm until 200.

His 23 books include "Webster's New World Dictionary of Media and Communications" (Library Journal Reference Book of the Year) and "Professional's Guide to Public Relations Services" (six editions). At Fordham University, he taught the nation's first public relations course for graduate business students.

His awards include a Gold Anvil for lifetime achievement from the Public Relations Society of America.