Year in Review: Former Boston Mayor Tom Menino’s Legacy

There were tears and cheers on Jan. 6 for Mayor Tom Menino when he left his City Hall office for the last time. After 20 years, his declining health convinced the longest-serving mayor in Boston's history that it was time to go.

But it wasn't long before Menino was back at work at Boston University, where he was named co-director of the Initiative on Cities, sharing his knowledge with leaders of cities from around the world.

Then, on March 16, there was shocking news as Menino revealed he was diagnosed a month earlier with an advanced form of inoperable cancer.

"You can't let it get you down," he told NECN. "You just got to move forward, because really, we're very fortunate in Boston. We have the best docs in the whole world."

The next day, Menino said he'd continue to work while undergoing chemotherapy treatment. Two weeks later, the former mayor and his wife, Angela, were in the Oval Office for a meet and greet with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

Menino also participated in a slew of events associated with the one-year anniverary of the Boston Marathon Bombing, including those at Massachusetts General Hospital, the Hynes Convention Center and at Fenway Park.

In May, Menino showed his sense of humor was still intact as he helped NECN's Leslie Gaydos in her "Does It Work" segment.

The Mayor stayed busy as he traveled the country, gave speeches and wrote his memoir. He even kicked off his book tour on Oct. 14 in New York City, though his voice was faint and he used a wheelchair, noticeably weakened by his illness. When he returned to Boston, he had to be hospitalized for dehydration.

On Oct. 23, there was one last public statement from Mayor Menino, saying he had decided to suspend his book tour and his cancer treatments and that he would "spend more time with my family, grandkids and friends."

Mayor Thomas Menino died on Oct. 30. He was 71. His funeral, on the eve of Election Day, drew religious and political leaders and sports stars who remembered him as one of the best Boston mayors of all time. 

Contact Us