Thomas F. Birmingham, the former president of the Massachusetts state Senate, gubernatorial candidate, and union lawyer, died Friday at age 73. Let’s see more details about Thomas and his cause of death in detail.
How did Thomas die?
Thomas died in Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, at the age of 73 on Friday. The Boston Globe announced the news on Social Media.
United States of America flag and Commonwealth of Massachusetts flag half-staff notification – former Massachusetts State Senate President Thomas F. Birmingham
Please be advised that Massachusetts Governor Maura T. Healey has ordered that the United States of America Flag and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts flag be lowered to half-staff at all state buildings beginning immediately, until sunset on the day of interment, in honor of the life and legacy of former Senate President, Thomas F. Birmingham, who passed away on January 20, 2023.
— Matt Szafranski (@MSzafranski413) January 21, 2023
Cause of Death
|Birmingham, known as “Tom,” died in Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, The Boston Globe reported. His health had declined recently. Before his death, he was dividing his time between Chelsea, where he worked as a labor attorney, and New York City.
The former state Senate president is remembered by his wife, Dr. Selma Botman, an author and provost at Yeshiva University in New York, as well as his two daughters and two grandchildren.
As soon as the News came out, Colleagues and friends are Pouring condolences on Social Media. Senate President Tom Birmingham was [an] incredible public servant dedicated to moving Massachusetts forward,” Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey wrote in a series of tweets. “He had a towering intellect and curiosity, and an ability to connect with a range of people.”
Who was Thomas Birmingham?
Tom was born in the Charlestown neighborhood of Boston in 1949, and his funeral will be held Saturday, Jan. 28. A Rhodes Scholar and graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, Birmingham went on to work as a labor attorney and Democratic state legislator from 1993 to 2001.
More recently, Birmingham worked as the executive director of Citizen Schools Massachusetts. It is a national nonprofit that helps students through hands-on learning and career mentors, as senior counsel at Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP, a highly regarded law firm now known as Locke Lord LLP, and as a distinguished senior fellow in education at the Pioneer Institute, a public policy research think tank.
Tom’s Career Journey
Birmingham was elected to serve in the Massachusetts state Senate in 1991. While there, he served as co-chair of the Joint Committee on Education and was a key figure in the creation of the ground-breaking education reform law that became law in that state in 1993.
With the establishment of charter schools, increased state financing for public schools, and the introduction of the MCAS standardized tests, the legislation significantly altered the education system in the Commonwealth.
It’s hardly hyperbole to suggest that Tom Birmingham did more in Massachusetts between 1993 and 2002 to create legislation and uphold the 1993 “grand bargain” of increased state money in exchange for rigorous academic standards, the MCAS test, charter schools, and universal accountability.
Pioneer Institute Executive Director Jim Stergios said in a statement in 2015.
Thomas Birmingham -Education Reform Act of 1993
The Chelsea native is often praised as one of the driving forces behind Massachusetts’ landmark bill known as the Education Reform Act of 1993. “Senate President Thomas Birmingham was an incredible public servant dedicated to moving Massachusetts forward. He had a towering intellect and curiosity and an ability to connect with a range of people.
Though he walked through rooms of power and privilege, he stayed true to his roots and never forgot where he came from or what mattered,” Gov. Maura Healey said in a statement. “His legacy includes ushering through the 1993 Education Reform Law that made our schools a model of excellence for the nation, advocating for the rights of workers, and standing up for marriage equality. His passing is a great loss for the Commonwealth and my heart goes out to his wife Selma, his daughters, and his grandchildren. He will be dearly missed.”
Condolences Posted on Social Media
CBS Boston Posted
“Senate President Thomas Birmingham was an incredible public servant dedicated to moving Massachusetts forward. He had a towering intellect and curiosity and an ability to connect with a range of people,” Gov. Healey said.
Very sincere condolences to the family of Tom Birmingham. I always considered Tom one of the best political figures ever to come out of Chelsea.
A man who was raised in a working-class family here in Chelsea. Extremely intelligent, Harvard University Grad, Rhodes Scholar, and went on to run for office and was the Senate President! Also very Well respected for his position of improving public education and advocating for labor unions. Rest in Peace Tom.
Half-staff notification: @MassGovernor has ordered flags lowered to half-staff until sunset on the day of interment in honor of former Senate President Thomas F. Birmingham who passed away on January 20, 2023.
Additional details re the date of interment will be provided. pic.twitter.com/unnJQI6Ljg
— Cambridge Fire Dept. (@CambridgeMAFire) January 23, 2023
Charlie Sherman Posted
Sorry to hear of the passing of Tom Birmingham. A Rhodes Scholar, and Harvard Law Grad who went on to become Massachusetts Senate President but never forgot that he was a Chelsea guy. He loved his City and the people in it.
May he rest in peace.
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