Former Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, who led the city for an unprecedented 20 years before choosing not to run again last year, died this morning after a long and public battle with cancer, his family announced.
Menino, 71, began his first term as mayor in 1993. For 10 years before that, he served as a Boston city councilor representing a large portion of southeastern Jamaica Plain. He announced earlier this year that he was suffering from inoperable cancer, and recently chose to end treatment and spend time with his family.
The Menino family issued the following statement today:
“At just after 9 a.m. this morning, the Honorable Thomas M. Menino passed into eternal rest after a courageous battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his devoted wife Angela, loving family and friends. Mayor Menino, the longest serving mayor of the City of Boston, led our city through a transformation of neighborhood resurgence and historic growth–leaving the job he loved, serving the city and people he loved, this past January. We ask that you respect the families’ privacy during this time and arrangements for services will be announced soon.”
The family has established a website, tommenino.org, where those arrangements will be publicized.
Menino’s lengthy tenure as a popular mayor influenced virtually every aspect of JP life. He likely will be remembered here for his LGBT rights advocacy, his creation of the small-business-boosting Main Streets program, and his commitment to seeing affordable housing developed in such places as Jackson Square, among many other programs and causes.
Menino touched on several of those programs in his recent memoir, “Mayor for a New America.”
Menino also earned a reputation as a mayor who promoted and developed the city’s neighborhoods as much as he did downtown. His successor, Mayor Martin Walsh, said in a statement today that “more than anything, he was a man of the neighborhoods.”