Former Deputy Mayor John Zuccotti dies at 78

John Zuccotti
Photo courtesy of Brookfield Property Group

Former New York City Deputy Mayor and City Planning Chairman John E. Zuccotti died last week at the age of 78 following complications from a heart attack, it was reported.

Zuccotti was best known in recent years as the namesake of the park which held the Occupy Wall Street protests in 2011.  He was born on June 23, 1937, in Manhattan, graduated from Princeton University in 1959 and received his law degree from Yale University Law School in 1962.

Zuccotti was appointed to the New York City Planning Commission by Mayor John V. Lindsay in 1971, and named chairman in 1973. He held the position until 1975, when he began serving as first deputy mayor of the City of New York under Mayor Abraham D. Beame.

Upon his Nov. 19 death, Zuccotti was chairman of global operations at Brookfield Asset Management Inc.

In an company-wide email, Brookfield Senior Managing Partner & Chairman Ric Clark said that the firm and the City of New York would not be the same without John’s wisdom, uncanny insights and unbridled enthusiasm.

“John was a great inspiration, friend and mentor to all who he touched at Brookfield, just as he was with countless New Yorkers throughout his long and storied career,” Clark said.

Former Queens Borough President Claire Shulman said Zuccotti was her favorite government figure of all time. Shulman said Zuccotti was a source a great advice to her and that he would be greatly missed.

“I had great respect for him: his brilliance, his decision-making,” Shulman said. “Even when he became deputy mayor to [Abraham D.] Beame, he continued to represent the city in a critical and sophisticated way, and I could only admire the way he dealt with the city.”

“You have to believe me when I say the city was greater for having had John Zuccotti,” she added.

Zuccotti is survived by his wife, Susan, three children and eight grandchildren.