Bruce Bolling, 67, First Black Boston City Council President

Bolling was the Boston City Council President in 1986-1987. He died on Sept. 11.

Bruce Bolling, the first black Boston City Council president, died from cancer on Sept. 11. He was 67.

Several politicians released statements about Bolling's passing. 

“I am saddened to learn of the passing of former City Councilor Bruce Bolling.  There are many who came before me who helped set the stage that allowed me to get elected," said Felix Arroyo, At-Large Boston City Councilor. "I have had the privilege of knowing Bruce my whole life. He has always been a friend and mentor to me, but most importantly, he was a great leader, husband and father. He will be missed.”

City Council President Stephen Murphy tweeted: "RIP Fmr. Cllr. Bruce Bolling. He was a man who always championed the causes of others, never once thinking of himself."

At-Large Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley tweeted: "Profoundly sad. We lost Bruce. Former Boston City Councilor & Council President, Bruce Bolling has left us."

State Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry, D-Boston, wrote on her Facebook page about Bolling: "Bruce Bolling was an inspirational leader, not only for Boston's communities of color, but for all Bostonians. Bruce broke down barriers his whole life and made our city more inclusive through his own example of civic and political bridge-building. Bruce paved the way for future leaders in both politics and business and remained an important voice and advocate to the end. For all of his accomplishments in public life, Bruce will be remembered most fondly as a devoted father and husband. My sympathies go out to his wife, Joyce, their son Bruce, Jr., and the entire Bolling family."

Bolling started on the Council in 1981, served as president 1986-87, and ran for mayor in 1993.

Plans for a memorial service have not yet been announced.


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