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    12.04.14 Brooklyn Law School Mourns the Passing of Herman Badillo ’54, Public Service Icon and Longtime Board Member
    Herman Badillo

    It is with profound sadness that Brooklyn Law School mourns the loss of Herman Badillo, Class of 1954, and a longtime member of the Board of Trustees who served for 20 years. He died Wednesday, December 3, 2014, at the age of 85.

    Mr. Badillo was the country’s first Puerto Rican-born congressman as well as the first Puerto Rican city commissioner and borough president. He was a fixture in New York City politics for four decades, beginning in 1962. He championed civil rights, jobs, housing and education reforms. In addition to serving as a four-term congressman, City Commissioner for Housing Preservation and Development, and Bronx Borough President, he was Deputy Mayor for Management and Deputy Mayor for Policy under Ed Koch, and later served Mayor Rudolph Giuliani as Special Counsel for the Fiscal Oversight of Education. He also ran for mayor several times.

    Mr. Badillo was born in Caguas, Puerto Rico on Aug. 21, 1929, the only child of Francisco and Carmen Rivera Badillo. His father, an English teacher, died when Herman was one and his mother, when he was five, both of tuberculosis. Relatives took him in and at 11 he was sent to New York. Shunted among relatives, he lived in Chicago, in California, and with an aunt in East Harlem. He learned English and became an excellent student at Haaren High School in Manhattan. Working as a dishwasher, bowling pinsetter and accountant, he graduated with high honors from City College in 1951.

    At Brooklyn Law School he was valedictorian of his class, awarded numerous prizes for his academic talents, was the student Commencement Speaker, and a member of the Law Review. He served as a member of the Board of Trustees for nearly 20 years, from 1994 to January 2014, adding immeasurably to the Law School's progress during this period. In addition to his impressive track record in public service, Mr. Badillo was in private practice for a period of time. He was a named partner in the law firm of Fischbein, Badillo, Wagner & Itzler, then of counsel to Sullivan Papain Block McGrath &Cannavo, and most recently senior counsel at Parker Waichman.

    He is survived by his wife, Gail, and his son, David.

    For further reading:

    Herman Badillo, Congressman and Fixture of New York Politics, Dies at 85 (New York Times)