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The Bulger Mystique | Part 1

Senate president: A mix of family, Southie, power

For the past decade, the State House agenda has been set by an enigmatic loner named William Michael Bulger, the president of the Massachusetts Senate best known for avoiding the press and ruling with an iron hand. The first of a four-part series examines the early life of one of the state’s most powerful yet least known politicians. It is based on scores of interviews, including four sessions with the 54-year-old Bulger, who has been president longer than anyone in the Senate’s 208 -year history.

On the first day of school in 1948, when students spilled out of the Old Harbor tenements in South Boston, Bill Bulger set off in the opposite direction, walking out the back side of the project to Andrew Station where he caught a streetcar to Boston College High School and a decade of serious study.

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