BOSTON (WHDH) - Groundbreaking Boston politician and activist Mel King has passed away at age 94.
Following his death, King is being remembered as a trailblazing leader.
King was a grassroots organizer who became a politician and lawmaker and, later, a teacher.
He was born in the South End in 1928, where he lived throughout his life. King fought for the neighborhood during his time as a state legislature and activist, pushing for affordable housing and opposing re-development that would push people out of their homes.
King ran for mayor in 1983 and became the first Black person to make it to the general election in a Boston mayoral race.
He later became an adjunct professor at MIT and helped establish the Rainbow Coalition Party.
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu released a statement Tuesday night, saying “For decades, Mel King taught us all how to serve, how to build and how to love.”
“His impact and legacy stretch across the boundaries of neighborhood, race, class and status,” Wu continued in her statement. “His transformative ideas have shaped generations of organizers and leaders who are driving us closer toward his vision today.”
Former Boston Mayor Marty Walsh tweeted a picture with King, calling King “a trailblazing civil rights icon and a blessing to our city.”
“Mel King: rest in power, my friend,” Walsh said.
7NEWS also spoke with King’s opponent in the 1983 mayor’s race — Former Mayor Ray Flynn.
Flynn said he and King became close friends during the mayoral campaign. Flynn continued, saying the groundbreaking race was “good for the city.”
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