Former New York State Senator Bill Larkin, a decorated combat veteran, has died at age 91.
Larkin’s spokesman Brian Maher delivered the news Sunday afternoon, saying America and the state of New York have lost a dedicated public servant, soldier and statesman. Larkin served nearly 40 years in the state Legislature, first in the Assembly from 1979-1990. Before that, he was Town of New Windsor supervisor.
Larkin, a Republican, had announced in May 2018 that he would not seek re-election. During his speech, Larkin said he was proud of helping to establish the SUNY Orange Newburgh campus, National Purple Heart Hall of Honor in New Windsor and the Newburgh Armory Unity Center, but was most proud of helping people.
Since the announcement, public officials across New York state have lauded Larkin's work.
Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo called Larkin "a constant force for good" who "was an inspiration to me and countless others who wanted nothing more than to serve the people of this great state and nation."
Democratic Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney says he and Larkin were "fast friends, sometimes to the frustration of harder partisans on both sides."
State GOP Chair Nick Langworthy expressed "boundless gratitude" for his service, adding, "from his days as a decorated soldier to his exemplary record of achievement in the state senate, Bill Larkin left an indelible mark on the world."
Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, a Republican, said Larkin "lived a storied and authentically American life — courageous and kind, conscientious and decent, full and honorable."
Larkin retired from the U.S. Army as a Lieutenant Colonel. He represented the 39th District that includes parts of Orange, Rockland and Ulster Counties, a district now served by Democrat James Skoufis. Skoufis particularly extended his condolences to Larkin's family, saying Larkin "cherished his family above all else."