Pam Edstrom, Tech PR Legend Who Shaped Microsoft's Public Image, Dies Following Cancer Bout

Pam Edstrom, founding partner of Waggener Edstrom Communications, has passed away following a four-month battle with cancer, the company announced Wednesday.

Edstrom, along with business partner Melissa Waggener Zorkin, helped put Microsoft – and countless other global technology brands – on the map.

In a blog post, Zorkin recounted the agency's early days, when Edstrom had originally turned down the chance to be a partner at the budding practice. "Then our little four-person agency managed to get a meeting with Bill Gates and then-President of Microsoft, Jon Shirley. After 2 days without sleep, we drove up in dense fog for our meeting. We talked about what we were building, yes, but mostly we talked about what we could do for Microsoft."

The agency won the account, Edstrom became Microsoft's first PR director and Waggener Edstrom remained Microsoft's agency through its meteoric rise in the 1990s. The software giant remained a large client of Edstrom's agency for several years.

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On social media, condolences from current and former top technology journalists followed Zorkin's heartfelt tribute:

Sadly today we lost Pam Edstrom after a battle w/cancer. Her huge imprint of love & life lessons will be w/us always

So sad about the passing of , the p.r. wiz & great person who, with , formed Waggener Edstrom, the voice of Microsoft.

Wow, this is heartbreaking. sent me handwritten notes of congratulations at big moments in my career. She was an amazing person.

Under Edstrom's leadership, Waggener Edstrom PR (now WE Communications) grew from a four-person startup to a global communications agency with more than 700 employees and 18 offices worldwide.