Former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino (D) died Thursday morning at the age of 71 after a long battle with cancer.

Menino was Boston’s longest serving mayor, winning five terms before he retired from office in January. He was diagnosed with an advanced form of cancer shortly after.

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He died in the company of his wife, Angela, other family members and friends, according to a statement.

Tributes poured in for the former big-city mayor for across the country.

President Obama said he and the first lady were “saddened” by the news in a statement.

“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,” said the president. 

“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.” 

Obama said he spoke with Menino’s wife yesterday and that his thoughts and prayers were with the former mayor’s family.

Menino was famous for his retail politics and close attention to the residents of the city’s neighborhoods.

Secretary of State John Kerry, who served as Massachusetts senator for nearly three decades, praised Menino’s legacy and political skills.

"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," he said.

"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,” said Kerry. “He knew what built community. He felt the city and the neighborhoods in his bones.”

Kerry said Menino “combined good old fashioned common sense with modern, state-of-the-art vision, and he delivered for Boston block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood.”

"We lost a great fighter today,” Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) added on Twitter. “Mayor Menino is gone, but his spirit lives on in every neighborhood in Boston."

"RIP Mayor Menino — a dedicated public servant who devoted his life to the city he loved," Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) tweeted.

Menino served as mayor from 1993-2014.

Supporters said his tenure saw a transformation of Boston, with his administration completing new projects that redefined the skyline and city.

Menino was an advocate for tougher gun control and worked to improve the city’s schools and push green-friendly policies. Under Menino, Boston saw a population boom and the revitalization of many city neighborhoods.

He also gained national attention for his response to the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013.

Menino also served as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors from 2002-2003.

“When he spoke, people listened. ... He was passionate about making sure cities got what they needed and was tough when pushing for the urban agenda in Washington," said Tom Cochran, executive director of the Conference of Mayors. “He was one of a kind … truly a mayor’s mayor who will be terribly missed.”

"Tom was never afraid to take on tough issues," former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement distributed by his gun control coalition Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which Menino co-chaired.



"He cared deeply about the people of Boston, and he was tireless in making his city a better place to live and work," Bloomberg added.

"There are few figures so intimately connected with their hometown as were Tom Menino and Boston,” said Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) in a statement. “He loved the city and its people, and devoted his life to them; for that, they loved him back.”

"Tom Menino was a passionate advocate for Boston and I was proud to work with him and call him a friend. Deepest condolences to his family," Rep. Bill Keating (D-Mass.) added on Twitter.


Former Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) on MSNB said Menino was "larger than life" and had an "essential decency."

"He prided himself on being the urban mechanic — on doing those things that only the government can do in a crowded society," Frank said.

Funeral service arrangements will be announced soon, the family said. 

— This story was last updated at 1:55 p.m.