COLEMAN--Elisabeth, 68, of Manhattan, passed away on June 20 after a brief illness. Elisabeth, known to many as "Lala," began her career as a magazine researcher at Newsweek and was a plaintiff in the groundbreaking sex discrimination suit against the magazine in 1970. The suit launched her career as a journalist and television correspondent for KQED in San Francisco and ABC news. In 1976, then California Governor Jerry Brown appointed her as his press secretary, a post she held until 1978, when she married Rock Brynner, the son of actor Yul Brynner, and returned to New York. They subsequently divorced and she began a career in public relations and communications, initially with her own company, Coleman Productions, from 1984-88 and then at Ernst & Young as director of public relations from 1988-90. She joined American Express in 1990 and during her 14 years with the company, she worked around the globe, lived in Hong Kong for two years as head of Asian public affairs, and rose to be vice president of international public affairs and communications. She retired in 2004 and was writing a memoir at the time of her death. Lala was beloved by her brothers, Jack Coleman of Philadelphia, and Francis Coleman of Bloomfield, NY, her half-sister Sally Van Devanter of Westport, CT, her stepmother Elisabeth Laperouse Coleman of Themines, France, and her six nieces for her warmth, devotion and great sense of humor. She will also be deeply missed by her many friends from the media, the Tibetan Buddhist community, and many other walks of life. Funeral arrangements are private. A celebration of her life will be held and announced at a future date. Contributions in her memory may be made to Jewel Heart at www.jewelheart.org or the ASPCA at 424 E. 92nd St., New York, NY 10128.
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Published in The New York Times on June 30, 2013