Former Boston mayor Thomas M. Menino, who died at age 71, was remembered by friends and colleagues across the nation on Thursday. Following is a collection of some of those comments. This posting will be regularly updated.
Vice President Joseph Biden:
Jill and I were saddened to hear of the passing of our good friend, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. Tommy was our friend for a long, long time, and he was without a doubt one of the finest Mayors this nation has ever seen. His heart was always as big as the city he loved. And he was, to his core, the very definition of Boston Strong. Unyielding. Absolutely committed.
The poet R. G. Ingersoll could have been describing Tommy when he wrote:
“When the will defies fear;
When duty throws the gauntlet down to fate;
When honor scorns compromise with death - - this is heroism!”
In the days following the Boston Marathon bombing Tommy was heroic. He was calm in the face of uncertainty, and resolute as the whole world watched. Even as he should have been in bed, Tommy stood tall, marching through the streets of Boston with a Louisville Slugger for a walking stick. He was determined to protect the people of his city, whether from high profile tragedies like the bombing or the everyday tragedies of gun violence as a leading member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns.
It was an honor to work with Tommy on the investments that improved Boston’s neighborhoods, schools, housing and infrastructure.
The “Menino Way” is evident in every park, every school, and every corner of Boston that emerged safer, cleaner, and stronger than before. His legacy will live on in the city he loved, and in the example he set for public servants everywhere.
Boston’s first Italian-American Mayor earned what my mother always said was the highest compliment we Irish can give: He was a good man.
John Henry, principal owner, Boston Red Sox:
The passing of Mayor Menino is a great loss for the City of Boston and for us personally. His passion for this city was legendary; his passion for the Red Sox extraordinary. We were fortunate to learn from his wisdom when we arrived in Boston over a decade ago. His support and leadership in the preservation of Fenway Park was critical in saving this ballpark. We will miss his spirit, and we will miss his friendship.
Former US Sen. Paul G. Kirk Jr.:
Of all the public officials entitled “Honorable”, few have lived a life that gave it real meaning as did Tom Menino. Mayor Menino honored the city that he led, its citizens whom he loved and the public trust which he cherished and exemplified.
He was a great Mayor and friend, and I offer my deep sympathy to Angela and their family as well as my prayers for their strength and for Tom’s eternal peace.
David G. Mugar, founder of Boston’s Fourth of July celebration:
Having worked with Tom Menino over the years on the Annual Fourth of July celebration, the New Year’s Eve Family Fireworks on the Boston Commons and other events, I grew quite close to him. He led by example. And what I came to understand is that he was an extraordinary people person. He knew the way to get things done was through people. His genius could be found in the fact that he had the ability to identify good people, and run the city through them.
He was also very good at responding to the needs of the people. Of course, he was tough. But there’s nothing wrong with being tough- as long as one is fair. And I never saw him treat anyone unfairly. Because of the way he treated people, he inspired fierce loyalty.
The last time I saw him was about three weeks ago at Davio’s Restaurant in Boston. He stopped and chatted and said, ‘Let’s have dinner. I’ll buy.’
His integrity was unmatched. I am honored and humbled to have been able to call one of the greatest mayors this city has ever known my friend.
Michael D. O’Neill, chairperson of the Boston School Committee:
Mayor Menino, as much as he loved Boston overall, was all about the children of Boston and most especially those in the Boston Public Schools. He was fond of saying ‘we take all students and teach all students’ and, as usual with his fighting spirit, he considered that both an honor and an obligation.
He consistently reminded those of us charged directly with improving public education in Boston of the need to be focused squarely on the youth and to do what was right at all times. He was a leader nationally among major city mayors in assuming full responsibility for improvement in his city’s schools and from his strong, focused, personalized approach, often from individual day-to-day observations in our schools and his numerous daily interactions with school leaders, teachers, staff, parents and students, he led the effort for Boston to now be considered a national leader in urban education.
But, for Mayor Menino, it was all about the students, for as he often said ‘I’m happiest when I’m in one of our schools.’ His positive impact will be felt for generations to come in our city.
John P. McDonough, interim superintendent, Boston Public Schools:
Mayor Menino saw promise and potential in every child. He turned our city’s school system into a model that other big cities have tried to recreate. Over 20 years of school visits he came to know our teachers, students, school leaders, parents, custodians and coaches by name -- and they certainly knew him. He pushed for equity and quality in every school, for every student, across entire generations of Boston families. He never stopped fighting for excellence and he never gave up. Our hearts go out to his family. Mayor Menino will be in our hearts forever.
Lawrence H. Summers, former president of Harvard University:
Tom Menino was the ultimate American mayor. He cared so much for every neighborhood , every institution, and every citizen of his city. Boston is a much different and much better place for his service.
Tom Menino was a great friend to Harvard and to me. In his own unique way, he saw how by working together a great university and a great city could be greater still. I’ll always treasure the memory of our times together.
Berklee College President Roger Brown:
Tom Menino was the education mayor, and with him there were many cultural endeavors that came to fruition for the students and citizens of Boston. He was on board from the time that Berklee and the other ProArts Consortium members conceived the City’s first high school for the visual and performing arts, the Boston Arts Academy, which became a beacon for many students who found the guidance needed to develop as artists.
He also challenged institutions to offer talent and access to families in Boston’s inner-city neighborhoods. With him, we launched Roxbury’s annual Jazz at the Fort concert 15 years ago, and he attended almost every one.
He encouraged the Berklee City Music Boston students who worked hard in our after-school programs to receive scholarships to Berklee in the summer and for full-time study after high school. He was quick with applause for them, and for an encore from us to continue engaging the City with our talents and teaching.
Tom Werner, chairman, Boston Red Sox:
Mayor Menino taught us that cities are neighborhoods, and nowhere was that felt more strongly over these 13 years than in our own backyard at Fenway Park. For all of our desires to preserve and protect this ballpark, I don’t know that it could have happened without the impassioned leadership of Mayor Menino. We are grateful that he was with us to celebrate our championships, and to throw out the Ceremonial First Pitch when Fenway celebrated its 100th anniversary. It’s hard to imagine a mayor who was more beloved. We are honored to have worked with him.
City Council President Bill Linehan:
I am deeply saddened by Mayor Menino’s passing. I considered him a close friend and professional ally, and he will be very much missed, not only by me but our City Hall family as well.
I wish to extend my deepest sympathies and condolences to Mayor Menino’s family during this difficult time. I know his love for the City of Boston was matched only by his love for, and devotion to, his wonderful family.
Mayor Menino cared very deeply about this city and its residents. He was arguably the most dedicated public servant I have ever met. It was a privilege to work with him both before and during my time as a City Councilor. His love for the City of Boston made him an extremely effective Mayor, and improved the quality of life for all Bostonians both as a City Councilor and during his unprecedented 20-year career as Mayor. In that time, Mayor Menino was tireless in his determination and dedication to better our city in so many memorable ways.
Mayor Menino’s greatest legacy lies in his devotion to the people of Boston, and his focus was always on ensuring that every single resident received essential city services. This, more than the revitalization of so many parts of this city on his watch, or his leadership during the Boston Marathon bombing tragedy, is what he would want to be remembered for.
Councilor-at-large Stephen J. Murp hy:
Tom Menino gave his best to Boston until the very end. I knew Tom from the time I was 12 years old. I volunteered on his first campaign, and he inspired me to run for public office. We had our political disagreements over the years, but I never lost respect for the man across the Hall. He was a living example who chose public life as a worthy undertaking.
The man who would become Boston’s longest-serving Mayor never took his eye off of serving the people who elected him. Boston has lost a great leader. His legacy will outlive most of us.
My prayers go out to Angela and the Menino family.
Larry Lucchino, president and chief executive officer, Boston Red Sox:
Our city has lost a great mayor, the Red Sox have lost a knowledgeable and an extraordinarily passionate fan, and the preservation community has lost a great advocate. The preservation of Fenway Park was one of his greatest and proudest achievements. He cared deeply about the growth of this neighborhood and the protection of this ballpark.
Personally, Mayor Menino was like a big brother to me. When I moved to Boston, he helped to make it my home. We have lost a good man, and I have lost a really good friend.
Michelle and I were saddened to hear of the passing of Tom Menino. Bold, big-hearted, and Boston strong, Tom was the embodiment of the city he loved and led for more than two decades. As Boston’s longest-serving mayor, Tom helped make his hometown the vibrant, welcoming, world-class place it is today. His legacy lives on in every neighborhood he helped revitalize, every school he helped turn around, and every community he helped make a safer, better place to live. I had a chance to speak with Tom’s wife, Angela, yesterday, and today our thoughts and prayers are with her, with the entire Menino family, and with the people of Boston who Tom loved so much, and who loved him in return.
Richard Paris, president of Boston Firefighters Local 718:
On behalf of Boston Firefighters Local 718, I would like to acknowledge the passing of Mayor Thomas M. Menino and extend my condolences to the Menino Family.
Mayor Menino will forever be a part of Boston’s political landscape. His leadership shaped our great city and Bostonians everywhere are grateful for that.
Although the relationship between Local 718 and Mayor Menino was strained at times, we always respected his tenacity for negotiating the best fire service for the city’s residents and his firefighters.
On a personal level, I have known Mayor Menino for over 40 years and we share the same neighborhood in the Readville section of Hyde Park. He will be sorely missed and his family will remain in our thoughts and prayers.
Nancy Robinson of Citizens for Safety/LIPSTICK:
It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of former Boston Mayor Tom Menino. Citizens for Safety and the LIPSTICK campaign owe a special debt of gratitude to Mayor Menino. He was the first high-profile leader to ask “Where did the gun come from?” and embrace our work to hold the sources of crime guns accountable. He singlehandedly changed the gun violence debate to focus on illegal gun trafficking because he cared deeply about protecting Boston’s children from gun violence. We will dearly miss his compassionate voice, bold vision, courageous leadership, and can-do fighting spirit.
Paul Guzzi, president of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce:
The City of Boston has lost a great leader, and the people of Boston have lost a great friend and advocate. I was fortunate to have known and worked with Tom Menino for more than 20 years, and he cared about this city with all his heart and soul. He understood both the needs of everyday citizens, and the importance of providing opportunity through thoughtful economic development policies.
During his tenure, Mayor Menino oversaw both the physical transformation of the city skyline and the transformation of our workforce and economy to one that is a leader in today’s global economy. He leaves behind a world-class city that is thriving and poised for continued success. We are all indebted to Tom Menino for his invaluable contributions, and we will all miss him very much.
Harvard President Drew Faust:
No one I’ve known has personified Boston’s heart and soul, its drive and its resilience, more than Tom Menino. I have been privileged to call him a mentor and a friend. He lived a life full of purpose, always guided by a devotion to improving the lives of the people he served. He was a strong and true friend of education, and he knew how much the pursuit of education and research means not only to Boston but to the larger world. All of us can learn from his powerful and humane example, and his countless friends and admirers across Harvard will greatly miss and long remember him.
Boston College President William P. Leahy:
On behalf of Boston College, I offer my heartfelt condolences to the Menino family on their loss. Mayor Menino was a remarkable individual who was passionate about the City of Boston and unwavering in his commitment to improving it for the sake of all. I always found him to be gracious and engaged in the meetings that I had with him. I will remember the Mayor, his wife Angela, and his extended family, in my prayers.
K.C. Coredini, executive director of MassEquality:
Mayor Tom Menino was one of the original LGBTQ champions. He wanted his legacy to be inclusion, and he succeeded. The MassEquality family sends its love and gratitude to his wife, Angela, and his entire family for sharing so much of him with all of us for so many years.
In 2012, MassEquality honored Mayor Menino with its inaugural Political Icon Award. The Icon Awards recognize people and institutions that have gone above and beyond in supporting LGBTQ issues. They are not just allies, but symbols of what others should aspire to in their support of the LGBTQ community. Mayor Menino was the inaugural recipient because, frankly, his early, fierce leadership set the bar.
The list of examples of Mayor Menino’s visionary leadership is long. As a city councilor in the late 1980’s, he worked to support HIV education and prevention efforts, and he instituted the first needle exchange program in the state. As mayor, he fought for – and won — a municipal ordinance prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity. He refused to walk in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade because the LGBTQ community wasn’t welcome. He wrote to the anti-marriage President of Chik-Fil-A, who was considering opening a restaurant in Boston, to tell him that discrimination was not welcome on Boston’s ‘Freedom Trail.’ One of the earliest supporters of marriage equality, he lobbied the State House in support of the freedom to marry. And on May 17, 2004, the first day that same-sex couples could marry in Massachusetts, Mayor Menino personally welcomed couples at Boston City Hall and made sure they were shielded from protesters.
He always said, ‘If you’re an elected official, and you don’t stand up for the rights of people, what good are you?’ Mayor Menino was great, and the LGBTQ community across the country is the better for it. He lives on in the lives he’s changed.
Jay Hooley, chief executive officer of State Street Corp.:
Mayor Menino was one of Boston’s greatest leaders and champions for all its citizens and he will be greatly missed. Our condolences go out to his family and the city he loved.
US Sen. Edward J. Markey:
In every neighborhood across this city, Boston will mourn today after losing this great mayor, but we will fill that void with the love and respect we have for the life and the legacy of Tom Menino. Boston loves Tom Menino because Tom Menino loved Boston with all of his heart.
Tom Menino wasn’t satisfied with leading the best city in America, he wanted Boston to be the best city in the world. Tom Menino was an urban mechanic without equal, attuned to every detail in every neighborhood and forged a more inclusive Boston. Yet his vision for Boston was global, and he pushed the city into a new era of innovation. He helped this shining city on a hill illuminate its light across the world, building a beacon of innovation and entrepreneurship. He laid the foundation for Boston’s economic leadership in the 21st century, including spearheading the Boston Innovation District and developing the Seaport area.
The Innovation District is supporting the companies and industries that are creating jobs today. And he has ensured that Boston will continue to be a national leader in biotechnology, clean energy, and health care for generations to come.
Boston will move into the future a stronger, brighter, safer, and healthier city because of Tom Menino.
My thoughts go out to Angela, the entire Menino family, and everyone ever touched by the great Tom Menino, a mayor and a man for the ages.
Senate minority leader Bruce Tarr of Gloucester:
We are all deeply saddened at the loss of such an esteemed and dedicated public servant who always kept the interests of his constituents first and foremost. Mayor Menino had a distinguished career in public service that spanned more than three decades, from his early days as a Boston City Councilor to his elevation to the most powerful elected office in the City of Boston in 1993. Throughout his years of public service, he never lost sight of his priorities, which included doing everything he could to improve the lives of others and to make Boston a better place to live, work, and raise a family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family during this difficult time.
James E. Rooney, former chief of staff for Menino and now executive director of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority:
I am deeply saddened by the passing of a mentor, a friend and the long-time leader of Boston, Thomas M. Menino. Sitting in the office next to Mayor Menino at City Hall for two years taught me so much about the kind of leadership and determination needed to make positive change.
There is perhaps no better example of this work than the growing, thriving South Boston Waterfront and Innovation District. It was his unwavering belief in the potential of this once underused, now beautiful district that has made it what it is today.
Whenever I look out the windows of the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, I will continue to think of this incredible man and celebrate his legacy. I want to express my deepest sympathies to Angela, Susan and Tommy Jr., and the entire Menino family. In many ways, an entire City of Boston has lost a family member.
INTERACTIVE: What do you remember about Menino?
Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD):
We are saddened to hear of the passing today of long-time Boston Mayor Tom Menino, who was a tremendous ally to the LGBT community.
It is hard to imagine that LGBT people and people living with HIV could have had a more devoted and rock-solid friend than Mayor Menino. His policies and positions were all aimed at ensuring not only that LGBT people were welcome in Boston, but that they could participate fully and equally in the life of our city.
From his refusal to march in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, to being an early champion of domestic partner health insurance benefits and then an early and steadfast supporter of marriage equality; from leading Boston to become one of the few cities in Massachusetts to implement needle exchanges, to ensuring the school committee adopted safe schools programs for LGBT youth, every LGBT person in the city knew that the Mayor was with you.
He gave voice to our inclusion in the city, and was at the same time an inspiration to our community. And he did all these things at a time when there was less acceptance and it was much less popular than it is today to support the LGBT community.
In addition to his policies and positions, the Mayor was the kind of person that when he saw a problem or injustice or a person suffering, he stepped in to create solutions. For instance, in 2001, Belynda Dunn, a beloved HIV educator in the African American community was in need of a liver transplant to save her life. Insurance companies wouldn’t cover transplants for HIV positive people at the time, claiming they were experimental. While GLAD pursued the issue in court, the mayor stepped up to create a fund to pay for the transplant, until we were able to change the law. That was the kind of extraordinary thing Mayor Menino did.
All of us at GLAD, and all of us in the community, will miss the Mayor and his unique style of leadership and inspiration. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones at this difficult time.
Revere Mayor Daniel Rizzo:
Mayor Menino was a mentor to me as a new mayor. He was always just a phone call away and he will be deeply missed. I always thought of him as the heart and soul of all mayors in the Commonwealth who care so deeply about the people we serve. God rest his soul.
Richard Tisei, Republican congressional candidate:
Bernie and I are extremely sad to hear about the passing of Mayor Menino this morning. Mayor Menino was a great man who dedicated his life to public service and was an icon for Italian Americans. I worked with the Mayor in the State Senate and as Senate Minority Leader. During that time I found him to be a caring, inspiring, and humble man. His loss will be felt in the Boston neighborhoods he worked so hard to help and across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Mayor’s family.
Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter:
The City of Brockton joins the rest of the nation in mourning the death of former Boston Mayor Tom Menino. Personally, he has been a role model; a man of the neighborhoods who knew that it was the people who were the most important. My deepest sympathies are extended to his wife Angela, his family, Mayor Walsh and to the great people of the City of Boston.
Massport chief executive officer Thomas P. Glynn:
On behalf of the Massachusetts Port Authority, I extend my deepest sympathy to Angela, Susan, Tommy, and the entire Menino family. Mayor Menino led Boston with compassion, foresight, and a relentless devotion to this city’s neighborhoods and residents. He was a fierce defender of East Boston. Nobody did more to protect, improve, and strengthen Boston’s neighborhoods than Mayor Menino. When he found opportunity he expanded it. When he found injustice he stopped it. When he found diversity he celebrated it. The Menino family and the people of Boston – all the lives he touched – are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
Secretary of State John F. Kerry:
Tom Menino was Boston. In fact, if you just look around the city, you’ll see with your own eyes that he is Boston today.
Others talked, Tommy worked.
Crime fell, population rose, the skyline became world-class, schools got better, the financial, academic, and medical sectors thrived, and neighborhoods became more diverse. It was in those neighborhoods that Mayor Menino made his mark.
His example for 20 years as Mayor taught us all a lot about people and politics, and his example the last year taught us even more about grace and grit.
Tom Menino had the big bold beating heart of a street politician. People came up to the Mayor and asked him to fix things, and he followed up and fixed them, whether it was streetlights or parks or getting the snow plowed so people could get to work on time. He knew what built community. He felt the city and the neighborhoods in his bones.
He combined good old fashioned common sense with modern, state-of-the-art vision, and he delivered for Boston block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood. He was fiercely loyal and unbelievably reliable.
Teresa and I send Angela and their children and grandchildren a big hug and big prayers.
Together with their beloved Tom, Angela, Susan and Tommy Jr., Bill and Lisa, Giulia, Will, Olivia, and Thomas III, Samantha, and Taylor embody something fundamental: the love that is a great family.
God Bless them all, and God Bless Tom Menino.
Joann E. Flaminio, president of the Boston Athletic Association and Thomas S. Grilk, executive director of the BBA, which sponsors of the Boston Marathon:
The B.A.A. expresses our profound sadness at Mayor Menino’s passing, together with our deep gratitude for the magnificent support to the Marathon, the B.A.A. and the hundreds of thousands of athletes who have run in Boston under his watchful eye. He was always one of the first spectators to arrive at the Marathon and the last to leave, including in 2014. He touched the event and the athletes in every way, every year. The race is diminished without him.
Mayor Menino’s support for the Boston Marathon and the B.A.A. never wavered. His leadership after the bombings which occurred on Marathon Day in 2013 resulted in the City becoming synonymous with resiliency and strength. “Boston Strong” was his hallmark, and his compassion for the family of the victims and the survivors directly led to the quick formation of The One Fund Boston. Our thoughts are with his family during this difficult time.
Related: Share your experiences of the long-time mayor
Michael A. Curry, president of the Boston branch of the NAACP:
When I became President of the Branch in 2011, the Mayor sent me a nice note congratulating me on my win, and expressed his willingness to continue his work with the Boston NAACP on a host of issues. He helped us launch a youth program, entitled the “Pipeline to Leadership Program,” aimed at training the next generation of civil rights and social justice leaders.
I fondly recall a two hour meeting I had with the mayor at the Parkman House after one of his early bouts with his illness. He shared is disappointment that he didn’t get to complete his work in the areas of diversity, violence and education, but expressed his commitment to continuing to work with the NAACP to make Boston a more diverse and inclusive city.
Even after he stepped down as mayor and was battling cancer, he said “Michael, call on me if you need me!”
House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo:
Mayor Menino had the courage to do whatever it took to fight for the people of Boston. We are all beneficiaries of his generous spirit, particularly the children of Boston, for whom he advocated tirelessly so they would have bright futures. My deepest prayers are with Angela and the Menino family. We are grateful for the decades that you and Mayor Menino shared with the citizens of Massachusetts.
Senate President Therese Murray:
Words cannot express the sadness felt throughout the Commonwealth today. Tom Menino was truly one of the nation’s greatest mayors. He cared not just about Boston, but about everybody. Even while he was very sick, his thoughts and concerns were always with the people of this city and their well-being. It’s because of his fierce guidance and innovative vision that Boston has emerged as a vibrant urban landscape worthy of the title world-class city. His efforts in each neighborhood transformed the face of Boston.
Life is too short, but he led a remarkable one. No one will ever love Boston as much as Tom Menino did. I will dearly miss his friendship and, while we will always mourn his loss, Mayor Menino will live through Boston forever. My thoughts and prayers are with Angela and the entire Menino family.
Charlie Baker, Republican candidate for governor:
If anyone deserved a long and satisfying retirement, it would be former Boston Mayor Tom Menino. For two decades, he threw himself into the job of Mayor of Boston with an enthusiasm and intensity that may never be duplicated. Like the thousands of people he’s helped, and the many more who simply grew to admire his work, his work ethic, and his deep love for and commitment to the city of Boston and its people, my wife Lauren and I are so sad to see him gone so soon. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Angela and their family.
Attorney General Martha Coakley, Democratic candidate for governor:
Today, Boston has lost the greatest mayor in its history. He was a friend and mentor, and a shining example to me and countless others of what it means to love and serve your community.
What made Tom Menino so remarkable was his connection to the people he represented - he understood their lives, their hopes, and their dreams. And he fought for them every day. He never forgot where he came from and stayed true to who he was to the very end.
We will miss him dearly, and we are all better for having known him and Boston is better for his leadership. My prayers go to his family - including his loving children Tom and Susan, his wonderful grandchildren, and to the love of his life, Angela. My condolences also go to his large extended family, his many friends, and his former staff.
SUBMIT: Tell us your Menino stories
State Treasurer Steve Grossman:
Tom Menino’s passing leaves a gigantic hole in the heart of the city he loved. His life and courage epitomized “Boston Strong” and will inspire our community for generations to come. Barbara and I extend our condolences to Angela, the entire Menino family, and the people of Boston.
Victoria Reggie Kennedy, president of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute Board of Directors:
Tom Menino was an extraordinary leader and a wonderful friend. He and my husband Ted had a great relationship, built on mutual respect, trust and love of the City of Boston. And lucky for me, Tom and Angela and I shared that same warm friendship.
Twenty-first century Boston blossomed under Mayor Tom Menino. He leaves a huge legacy of achievement. And his loss leaves a huge hole in our hearts. Angela, Susan, Tom Jr. and their families are in our thoughts and prayers.
US Representative William Keating:
In the four decades that I have known Tommy Menino as a friend and colleague, I have never seen another person in public life that had his ability to relate person-to-person with anyone and everyone he met. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Angela, his family, and the entire City of Boston. We lost a true champion for the Commonwealth.
Senator Linda Dorcena Forry of Dorchester:
Today is a sad day for the City of Boston. My thoughts and prayers are with Mayor Tom Menino, his wife and best friend Angela, his children, Tom Jr. and Susan, his beloved grandchildren and the entire Menino family. Mayor Menino left Boston a better place after more than twenty years of dedicated service to the city he loved so much. Through his passion, work ethic and huge heart, Mayor Menino exemplified what it means to be from Boston. Thank you Mayor Menino, Rest in Peace my friend.
Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh:
Today the City of Boston mourns together.
To any who had come to know him, it is no surprise that more than half of Boston had a direct interaction with Tom Menino. No man possessed a greater love for our City, and his dedicated life in service to Boston and her people and changed the face of the City.
With sheer determination and unmatched work ethic, he took a city that is not as big in size as we are in stature and put us on the world stage as a national leader in health care, education, innovation and the nitty gritty of executing basic city services.
He was a leader on policy issues that shaped the Boston we know today: from the environment, to youth engagement, to innovation, to crime prevention. But more than anything, he was a man of the neighborhoods. He held a profound understanding of the direct and immediate impact that municipal government can have on people, and made it a great priority to ensure that government served people, and not the other way around.
Even in the latest stages of his illness, his concern – first and foremost – was always for Boston. We are forever grateful for Mayor Menino’s guidance, advice, and continued dedication to Boston. And though he has passed, his legacy and spirit will be felt across the City for generations to come.
Because of his leadership, Boston is a better place today.
From a grateful City: Our prayers are with Angela, Susan and Tommy, their families and friends, and all who loved Tom Menino.
Former New York City mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, with whom Menino founded Mayors Against Illegal Guns:
Tom Menino was a terrific mayor and a close partner for me. I got to know Tom well as we worked together to keep cities safe from gun violence. In 2006, we formed Mayors Against Illegal Guns -- and what began as a meeting of 15 mayors ultimately became a coalition of more than 1,000 mayors from around the country.
Whether it was tackling illegal guns or reviving neighborhoods, Tom was never afraid to take on tough issues. He cared deeply about the people of Boston, and he was tireless in making his city a better place to live and work. Tom was at his best when his city needed him most. In the aftermath of the Marathon bombing last year, he was steady as always, showing the same determined leadership that made his career in public service one of Boston’s most important and most influential.
My thoughts and prayers are with Tom’s wife Angela, their children and family, and their many friends in Boston and beyond.
Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley:
Tom Menino will be remembered as one of America’s greatest mayors. He was also a thoroughly good and decent man – a loving and beloved husband, father, grandfather, and brother. He dedicated his life and career to the people of Boston. He knew every block of every neighborhood as well as he knew his own back yard and he treated them with the same love and care. He valued every resident as if they were his neighbors and cared for every child as if their futures were his own. He was a mentor and a father figure to many of us who entered public service, myself included. For the city he loved so much, this is a death in the family.
Tom Cochran, executive director of US Conference of Mayors, where Menino served as the 60th president from 2002-2003:
The nation’s mayors mourn the passing of Thomas M. Menino, the 53d Mayor of Boston. He was our beloved colleague and, despite being aware of his health challenges, we are all still in shock.
Mayor Menino was an innovator who never waited for change; he made the change happen. On issues such as housing policy, gun safety, new urban mechanics, the promotion of a healthy, local-food economy, and so much more -- the great City of Boston, our U.S. Conference of Mayors, and the nation are much better off because of Mayor Menino.
When he spoke, people listened. His presence immediately commanded attention when he entered a room. He had vision, but he was also pragmatic and never lost sight of the “working family.” He was passionate about making sure cities got what they needed and was tough when pushing for the urban agenda in Washington.
He was one of a kind … truly a mayor’s mayor who will be terribly missed.
We have lost a friend and leader today, and our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Angela, the Menino family, and the City of Boston.
Ray Flynn, former Boston mayor and US ambassador to the Vatican:
Tom Menino and I shared more than the title of being mayor of Boston, but also had a love for the people of Boston which sustained him every day. This gave him the passion and strength to fight every day to make Boston a better place. Yes, we sometime disagreed about issues, but we never had a difference of opinion about our respect for each other and our pride in making Boston a great city.
I also admired the courage of Tom Menino in fighting his sickness and his love for his family. Boston is a better city because of Tom Menino and the people of Boston are grateful for his commitment and service.
The day I left City Hall to become U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican, I said, ‘The city is in good hands.’ Today, Tom Menino is in good hands.
Kathryn White, widow of the late Boston mayor Kevin White:
I am deeply saddened by the loss of Mayor Thomas M. Menino. The mayor showed tremendous grace and dignity while battling his illness. His resilience is a lesson to us all. Mayor Menino maintained a close relationship with my husband and both were extremely fond of each other. My prayers go out to the mayor’s loving wife Angela and the entire Menino family.
Governor Deval Patrick:
Boston has lost a political giant, and Diane and I have lost a friend. Our hearts and prayers go out to Angela and the whole Menino family. And we thank God for the service and the life of Tom Menino.
Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, Roman Catholic archbishop of Boston:
Mayor Menino placed family, faith and public service above all else. His passing is a great loss to the City of Boston, the Commonwealth, our country, and to his family, who were the center of his life.
Generations of citizens of Boston benefitted from his care and concern, first as a city councilor and then, most notably, as Mayor for twenty years. Under Mayor Menino’s leadership, the City of Boston achieved world class status while he always remained keenly focused on the needs and concerns of the city’s neighborhoods and its people.
It is a blessing for me to have known Tom and Angela since the time I arrived in Boston and to share in their faith and their good works. They always held providing support and assistance for people in need as a priority. It was not uncommon for the Mayor to attend several church services on a given day, at our Catholic parishes and the churches and worship sites of our ecumenical and interfaith brethren with whom he had very close and supportive relationships.
We pray for Mayor Menino as we give thanks for a life so well lived, for his wife Angela, their children and grand children, for the people of the City of Boston and all who mourn his passing. May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.
Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera, who called Menino his mentor:
In this time when things are so uncertain, it’s great to have such connoisseur leadership like his. To lose him so quickly, that’s the thing. Now we have to stand together as a community, the whole state, and just wish his family the best.
US Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts:
The City of Boston lost a great fighter today. Mayor Tom Menino used his big heart, his strong voice, and his fierce determination to shape every corner of the city. Bruce and I send our prayers to Mayor Menino’s wife Angela, to his family, and to all Bostonians. Our mayor is gone, but he lives on in every neighborhood in Boston.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Democatic member of the US House and current chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee:
On behalf of the Democratic Party, I would like to express our profound sadness on the passing of Mayor Tom Menino. There are few figures so intimately connected with their hometown as were Tom Menino and Boston. He loved the city and its people, and devoted his life to them; for that, they loved him back.
I would like to extend my condolences to Mayor Menino’s family and the people of Boston for their loss. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.