Bill Lynch, Former Deputy Mayor and Democratic Political Strategist, Dies

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William Lynch, a former deputy mayor in David Dinkins administration who for 40 years played an active role in city, state and national politics, has died. He was 72.

Lynch's son and daughter said in a statement that he died at about 1:30 p.m. Friday from complications from kidney disease.

A Democrat, Lynch served as Dinkins' campaign manager, playing a pivotal role in the election of the city’s first African-American mayor in 1989.

Dinkins told WNYC in an interview Friday afternoon that it was Bill Lynch who persuaded him to run for the office in the first place. He also credited Lynch with orchestrating Nelson Mandela's June 1990 visit to New York City. At the time, the anti-apartheid leader had just been released from prison in South Africa after 27 years.

“He stayed with us, my bride Joyce and me in Gracie Mansion. He had a ticker tape parade, spoke in Harlem and at Yankee Stadium. But Bill lynch caused these things and many more to happen,” Dinkins said.

The Long Island native was a U.S. Air Force veteran. He is survived by his wife, son, daughter and grandson.