John Walsh has died aged 65. (Photo Credit: LinkedIn)
John Walsh, the political adviser credited with orchestrating the successful gubernatorial campaign for former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick in 2006, has passed away at the age of 65. Walsh, who was diagnosed with stomach cancer earlier this year, died in hospice care on Monday. He is survived by his wife Donna and son Coleman.
Who Was John Walsh?
Born to Irish immigrants, John Walsh graduated from Princeton University. He then returned to Plymouth County in Massachusetts and helped a friend launch a campaign for Abington School Committee in 1981. His friend, however, lost the campaign. In 1983, Walsh ran for the local board of selectman and went onto serve 10 years on the board. He then quickly rose up the ranks in local politics and was hired to lead Deval Patrick's gubernatorial campaign in 2006. He went on to serve as the chair of the Massachusetts Democratic Party between 2007 and 2013. Walsh led Sen. Ed Markey’s reelection campaign in the 2020 Democratic primary and served as Markey’s Chief of Staff before his death.
Ed Markey’s tribute -
Following Walsh's death, Markey released a statement, saying, "John Walsh was a political genius and a transformational figure in the history of Massachusetts movement building. He believed in the extraordinary capacity of ordinary people. He knew that the path to justice runs through the kitchen tables, civic centers, schools, and town squares in every corner of Massachusetts and our country."
“John was a visionary who saw talent in everyone, and his genius was hands-on. We see it in the miles of knocked doors, hands he shook, coffee meetings he took, and minds he opened. He didn’t just see ways to change the world; he dedicated his life to changing it himself. He made time for everyone, shared selflessly of his wisdom and experience, and redefined leadership for Massachusetts candidates. John’s legacy will be in the young people he mentored and brought into public service, and the livable future they are fighting for every day.
“But more than his campaign work, more than Boston sports — both of which he enjoyed discussing immensely — John loved to talk about his family and how they made everything possible for him. My heart and deepest gratitude are with his wife Donna, his son Coleman and his wife Becca, and the entire Walsh family. We will miss him forever," he concluded.