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Menino, longtime Boston mayor, dies at 71

Associated Press

BOSTON – Thomas Menino, Boston’s longest-serving mayor whose mumbling and occasional bumbling belied his political ingenuity and endeared him to a scrappy city whose very skyline he helped reshape, died Thursday. He was 71.

Menino died in the company of his family and friends, spokeswoman Dot Joyce said. He had been diagnosed with advanced cancer in February, shortly after leaving office, and announced a week ago he was suspending treatment and a book tour so he could spend more time with family and friends.

First elected in 1993, Menino built a formidable political machine that ended decades of Irish domination of city politics, winning re-election four times. He was the city’s first Italian-American mayor and served in the office for more than 20 years before a series of health problems forced him, reluctantly, to eschew a bid for a sixth term.

President Barack Obama hailed Menino as “bold, big-hearted, and Boston strong.” Reaction poured in from leaders around the country, including Secretary of State John Kerry, a longtime U.S. senator from Massachusetts, who said: “Tom Menino was Boston.”

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