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Thomas Menino dead: Affable former Boston mayor was 71

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BOSTON (AP) — Long-serving former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino has died. He was 71.

Spokeswoman Dot Joyce says Menino died Thursday morning in the company of his family and friends. He had been diagnosed with advanced cancer in February 2014, shortly after leaving office.

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino looks on at a press conference heralding The One Fund on April 23, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Officials announced that the fund for victims of the Boston Marathon bombings has already raised $20 million in donations.  (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino looks on at a press conference heralding The One Fund on April 23, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Menino rode the support of minority communities, labor and others to election in 1993 after serving as acting mayor, ending decades of Irish domination of city politics. He was re-elected four times, making him the city's longest-serving mayor.

He was known to make verbal gaffes but used them to underscore his affable personality and to connect with constituents. He told them in his first TV ad, "I'm Tom Menino. I'm not a fancy talker, but I get things done."