By Alex Davidson
Borough President Helen Marshall expressed her sadness at the death of former U.S. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.) and said the borough lost a fierce protector after the veteran legislator died March 26 at the age of 76.
The cause of death was attributed to complications stemming from an emergency appendectomy.
“Daniel Patrick Moynihan was one of the most passionate and scholarly individuals ever to speak on the Senate floor,” she said. “He was a statesman in every sense of the word, an eloquent legislator and a compassionate human being … a legend whose wisdom will live on in his written words.”
Marshall said Moynihan fought for the city and she cited his reports criticizing state and federal formulas that left Queens and the other boroughs short-changed in terms of the tax dollars they sent to Washington.
Moynihan served New York in the Senate for 24 years before retiring in 2000 when Hillary Clinton replaced him and became the state’s junior senator.
Queens commuters using the Long Island Rail Road will one day arrive at a new Penn Station in Manhattan named for Moynihan, following a decision by Gov. George Pataki and Mayor Michael Bloomberg to dedicate the James Farley Post Office Building in the late senator’s honor.
Moynihan served as Bloomberg’s appointee on the Pennsylvania Station Redevelopment Corp. board and advocated for the new Penn Station to be placed in the old main post office at Eighth Avenue and 33rd Street.
A memorial for Moynihan was held April 2 at the Church of St. Francis of Assisi in Manhattan. Queens officials were quick to react to Moynihan’s death.
State Assemblyman Brian McLaughlin (D-Flushing) called Moynihan a hero and said he was a champion of working people who encouraged the pursuit of the American dream.
“It is ironic that at a time when New Yorkers are struggling with the economic aftermath of Sept. 11, that our strongest voice is now silenced,” he said.
Reach reporter Alex Davidson by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or by phone at 1-718-229-0300, Ext. 156