Former Boston mayor Raymond Flynn receives lifetime achievement award

Boston Mayor Ray Flynn looked out the window of City Hall during his first day in office, Jan. 3, 1984.
Boston Mayor Ray Flynn looked out the window of City Hall during his first day in office, Jan. 3, 1984. Tom Landers/Globe Staff/File/Globe Staff

Former mayor Raymond L. Flynn, a proud son of South Boston who’s been honored repeatedly in recent years for his civic contributions, received the Norman B. Leventhal Excellence in City Building lifetime achievement award Tuesday night.

About 200 people filled the Wharf Room at the Boston Harbor Hotel for the ceremony organized by A Better City, a business-backed organization.

In addition to Flynn, the other Leventhal Award recipients honored were MIT president L. Rafael Reif, in the environment category; Rosemarie E. Sansone, chief executive officer of the Downtown Boston Business Improvement District, in the land development category; and Commodore Builders founder and chief executive Joseph Albanese, in the infrastructure category.


“The Norman B. Leventhal Awards are an opportunity to recognize the leaders and innovators who have made significant contributions to our built environment,” A Better City said on its website.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh presented the honor to Flynn, who served as mayor from 1984 to 1993 before resigning to serve as US ambassador to the Vatican.

As a public servant, Flynn was “a champion for everyday people,” Walsh said, addressing the packed room. “He’s a veteran, a scholar, a man of faith, and a man who loves his family.”

Flynn’s legacy is one of a man who fought for his community every day, Walsh said.

Walsh was one of a dozen people who narrated a video tribute to Flynn, which highlighted his four-year tenure as Vatican ambassador, along with personal and professional milestones in Boston’s development.

After the presentation, Flynn approached the podium, where Walsh placed a blue and gold medal around his neck. He received a standing ovation.

In brief remarks, Flynn said he shared the achievement honor with the many people in the public and private sectors who made his accomplishments possible.

“I have to say this to you . . . when I think about Boston and the success of this great city, it’s because of you,” Flynn said.


Saric can be reached at Sofia.Saric@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @sofia_saric. Andersen can be reached attravis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.