BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Former Baltimore City mayor Thomas D’Alesandro III has died at the age of 90. D’Alesandro who was known as “Young Tommy” died in his North Baltimore home after complications from a stroke.
He grew up on a street in Little Italy with his four brothers and sister. Friends of his said if you lived in the neighborhood, you knew Tommy.
“They were an integral part of the neighborhood. So, everyone knew him. We all knew him,” said Vince Culotta, owner of Sabatino’s.
D’Alesandro served one term as mayor from 1967 to 1971 and was mayor during the 1968 riots in the city.
“The D’Alesandro family is political royalty, and deservedly so,” said Cyd Wolf, co-owner of Germano’s.
He was the oldest brother of U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
She has released the following statement about her brother’s death:
“My husband Paul and our entire family are devastated by the loss of our patriarch, my beloved brother, Thomas D’Alesandro III.
“Tommy was the finest public servant I have ever known. His life and leadership were a tribute to the Catholic values with which we were raised: faith, family, patriotism. He profoundly believed, as did our parents, that public service was a noble calling and that we all had a responsibility to help others.
“Tommy dedicated his life to our city. A champion of civil rights, he worked tirelessly for all who called Baltimore home. Tommy was a leader of dignity, compassion and extraordinary courage, whose presence radiated hope upon our city during times of struggle and conflict.
“All his life, Tommy worked on the side of the angels. Now, he is with them. With his commitment to his family and public service, his life has truly blessed America.
“All who were blessed to know and to love Tommy mourn with his wife Margaret, his children Thomas, Dominic, Nicholas, Patricia and Gregory, and his grandchildren whom he adored, and are praying for them at this sad time.”
Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen tweeted, “Tommy worked to bring young, diverse leaders into city government and his passion for his great city never waned,”
“You’d hear someone with a problem, and they’d say well, go see Tommy, he’ll help you out,” Culotta said.
And in the neighborhood he grew up, long-time family friend Culotta remembers a talented lawyer and a dedicated public servant.
“He was always a gentleman, that’s one thing I remember about him.” Culotta said.
Across the street at Germano’s, a piece of Tommy’s history hangs on the wall.
“He was a mayor of all the people,” Wolf said.
A portrait of the entire D’Alesandro family was taken in the 1940s and now hangs in the restaurant.
Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.