BOSTON (CBS/AP) – Former Boston Mayor Kevin White passed away peacefully at his home Friday night. White was surrounded by his wife Kathryn of 55 years and his family. He was 82 years old.

White was mayor from 1968  to 1984. He chose not to run again after being elected to four terms.

“He built the new Boston,” Mayor Menino told WBZ after he heard of the news. “He did a lot for the city, he gave it a lot of vitality.”

WBZ-TV’s Jonathan Elias reports

White, a white Irish Catholic from a family of politicians, is credited with revitalizing Boston’s downtown and seeing the city through court-ordered busing. He ended his four-term tenure under a cloud of ethics suspicions.

A Democrat, White was elected Massachusetts Secretary of State three times before running for mayor for the first time in 1967 against anti-busing activist Louise Day Hicks. He defeated her with support from the black community and liberals.

After losing a 1970 bid for governor, White was re-elected mayor in 1971, again defeating Hicks. He won again narrowly in 1975 and 1979.

White was considered as a vice presidential running mate to Sen. George McGovern in 1972 but was passed over for Missouri Sen. Thomas Eagleton, who was later shunted aside for R. Sargent Shriver Jr.

He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2003.

Funeral arrangements will be announced Saturday.

Longtime friend and family spokesman George Regan was emotional, saying “It’s a sad day, I’ve lost my second father.”

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (8)
  1. emom says:

    RIP Mr White,,

    1. gramps says:

      He was the 1st Pol to run on his first name, his lawn signs & bumper stickers read, ‘KEVIN’…..


      Kevin took the where-a-bouts of ‘Curley’s desk’ with him….

      1. dan says:

        kevin was wise to get out when he did because he wnew they were getting close to him

    2. gramps says:

      Just thinking….

      The last hope to find James Michael Curley’s desk lies with one or both of the ‘Brothers Bulger’…..

      Billy wrote a book titled ‘Our Town’ about Curley & maybe ‘Whitey’ helped him with the research & in doing so, found & put the ‘arm’ on the desk?!??


  2. Thomas F. Hayward says:

    Kevin White,
    Kevin brought the City of Boston into the 21st. Century with a great skyline. His
    community service was tops. He kept Boston togather in hard times. I worked
    in City Hall and he was the greatest to work for. Boston was lively,fun and a great place and will be again. Kevin we will miss you and love you very much
    as a true visionary and the best leader a city ever had !

    Good by dear friend,
    From all citizens and friends of Boston Mass.
    Tom Hayward

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