Tributes from friends and associates continue to come for political master strategist Bill Lynch who died Friday from complications of a kidney ailment at age 72.
Lynch was David Dinkins campaign manager and helped steer him to victory in 1989 to become New York City’s first and thus-far only African American mayor.
Lynch was head of his own Harlem-based public relations firm Bill Lynch Associates and an advisor to several Democratic politicians, including current mayoral candidate, New York City Comptroller John Liu.
In 1992, after helping to bring the Democratic National Convention to New York City, Lynch ran Bill Clinton’s New York presidential campaign. He’s also worked on the presidential campaigns of John Kerry (2004) and Hillary Clinton (2008). Other clients were Rev. Jesse Jackson, Edward Kennedy, H. Carl McCall, David Paterson, Fernando Ferrer, and many others.
“Bill Lynch is a true friend and mentor to generations of mentors, leaders and trailblazers, organizers and activists,” Liu said. “To our Team Liu Family, Uncle Bill is the patriarch. To the world, he is the humble genius, an architect of rainbow coalitions with the ability to move mountains. His lifetime of work is the force that continues to raise tides and lifts all ships. I would not be where nor who I am today without Bill Lynch.”
“I am heartbroken,” Bertha Lewis, President of The Black Institute, said, adding that “a great man has passed and I am deeply saddened by the loss of yet another mentor and friend to our community. A lot of what I know about Politics and Organizing, I learned from Bill Lynch. He was undoubtedly one of the greatest political minds of our era, and will forever be known as a giant in politics. He was a legend on the gridiron and on the gritty streets of Harlem and his passing creates a huge chasm in our City and our Nations political fabric. I am honored to have known, learned and worked with him. Bill was a master political architect who was a key link between the Civil Rights Movement and electoral politics. The effects of his genius touched as far as South Africa and its abolishment of Apartheid and the world mourns his passing. The hearts and minds of The Black Institute are with his family and our friends at Bill Lynch Associates.”
“Bill Lynch was a giant in so many ways, and the news of his passing brings sadness to all of us who knew him, who worked with him and respected his enormous achievements,” said Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer, who is running for Comptroller. “He was a prominent and historic figure in New York politics, an immensely talented political consultant who guided David Dinkins to victory in his 1989 mayoral race. He built an extraordinary coalition in that campaign, and the ability to forge consensus became a hallmark of his multi-faceted career.”
Stringer said Lynch “organized the City’s welcome ceremony for Nelson Mandela. Bill Lynch fought long and hard for racial justice, and he was a tireless champion of the City’s working men and women. We will miss his courage, his intelligence and his commitment to serving the people of New York. Like many, I have lost a dear friend today – and my thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
“I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Bill Lynch; the New York City community has lost a lion,” said New York City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. “Bill will be remembered as a pioneer in the political world, dedicating his life and career to ensuring that New York has representatives of color at all levels of government. Bill paved the way for so many of us who believe that only through coalition building will our communities will be empowered. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and close friends tonight. He will be sorely missed.”
“I send my sincere condolences to the family of Bill Lynch,” added Vince Morgan, who is vying for Harlem’s 9th District, City Council seat. “Along with the Gang Of Four, Bill Lynch will go down in history as a political visionary in Harlem. His contributions to African-American politics in New York and across the country will be sorely missed.”
“It is with heartfelt condolences and deep sadness that we mourn the passing of Bill Lynch,” Scott Levenson, President of The Advance Group said. “He was a mentor, teacher and leader to so many of us. He will be sorely missed. Our thoughts are with his family and our colleagues at Bill Lynch Associates.”