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Former Boston Mayor Kevin White Dies At Age 82

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Former Boston Mayor Kevin White.

Former Boston Mayor Kevin White.

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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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)

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