Passings: Zuccotti's Role In 1970s Fiscal Crises Recalled In Tributes

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John Zuccotti

Several current and former elected officials in statements recalled how the developer John E. Zuccotti, who has died at the age of 78, played an outsized role in New York City's history, including during the financially-troubled 1970s.

The developer, also known for promoting downtown Manhattan, is the namesake of Zuccotti Park.

“It is with great sadness that we learn of the passing of John Zuccotti. John was a kind, generous and tremendously dedicated man who believed in strengthening the promise of New York," Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said. "Over the course of a career that spanned both government and the private sector, he worked tirelessly to improve the communities around him. From being a voice of courage in the aftermath of 9/11, to helping guide New York City through the fiscal crisis of the 1970s, John spent his life working to better the lives of others and for that we will always be indebted to him. On behalf of all New Yorkers, my thoughts are with John’s wife Susan, as well as their children and grandchildren. John’s impact will continue to be felt for years to come, and he will be greatly missed.”

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio said: “Today we mourn the loss of John Zuccotti, a public servant who dedicated his career to improving lives of New Yorkers. John long served his city and his country – as an officer in the United States Army, First Deputy Mayor under Mayor Abraham D. Beame, Commissioner and then Chairman of the City Planning Commission under Mayor John Lindsay, on committees to improve public welfare under Mayor Ed Koch and Governor Hugh Carey, as well as at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. After the tragic terror attacks on September 11, 2001, John was a powerful voice for the revitalization of downtown Manhattan, overseeing the regrowth of Liberty Park."

De Blasio added: "I turned to John often for advice, and he would often share his stories of guiding the city in tough times. He was widely admired for being an honest broker, and was equally respected in the public and private sectors. The park’s renaming to Zuccotti Park in 2006 is a fitting and lasting memorial for John’s compassionate and tireless efforts to rebuild and fortify our city in its gravest time of need. He will be remembered by New Yorkers for his spirit and his unwavering commitment to the city he loved.”


"Today, all of New York City is saddened to hear of the passing of John Zuccotti," said Scott M. Stringer, New York City comptroller. "Over decades of service in both government and the private sector, John worked with compassion and conviction to help make our City and our society a better place for all.  He was a voice of reason when New York City was on the brink of financial collapse in the 1970s, and a driving force for rebuilding in the aftermath of September 11th.  He will be missed."

Former New York City mayor, Michael Bloomberg said: "New York City has lost one of its most devoted champions and civic leaders, and someone I was lucky to call a friend, John Zuccotti. Inside and outside city government, over the course of five decades, John helped shape the future of the five boroughs. The instrumental role he played during the 1970s fiscal crisis helped set the stage for the city's turnaround, and in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, there was no stronger supporter of Lower Manhattan's rebirth than John. We were fortunate to have him on the Board of the National September 11th Memorial and Museum, and we will long remember his kindness and generosity. My heart goes out to his wife, Susan, and their family."

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