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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Caltech’s longtime publicist Bob O’Rourke died Tuesday in his Pasadena home at the age of 72.
For decades, O’Rourke pitched stories to various news outlets, but found himself in the limelight when he was diagnosed with the pulmonary fibrosis in 2006.
Pulmonary fibrosis is a disease that scars and deteriorates the lungs, eventually taking away the ability to breathe.
Lisa Sigell, reporting for CBS2 and KCAL9, followed his battle with the disease, including a lung transplant he underwent in Feb. 2011, which gave him the ability to breathe on his own for the first time in years.
In a tribute posted on Caltech’s website, the school reported that the media guru died following complications of that transplant.
O’Rourke led the Office for Public Relations for the school from 1986 to 2009.
He is survived by his wife, Sandy; four children; two stepchildren and eight grandchildren, the school reported.