Two-time former mayor of Providence, Vincent ‘Buddy’ Cianci, died Thursday morning at 74 of colon cancer, according to the Providence Journal. He was rushed to Miriam Hospital due to stomach pains he was experiencing Wednesday night.
Cianci’s legacy is quite muddled; while he is often credited with the economic transformation seen in Providence in the late 1970s and early 1980s, which birthed a commercial boom marked most notably by the Providence Place Mall and Waterfire, he was also removed twice from office on felony charges and faced rape accusations.
Felon or not, Buddy has been a relevant figure in the College Hill community for decades. He’s taken selfies with our staffers, sent in pictures of his breakfast, and dealt with drunk bloggers attending his campaign events. Another fun fact is that he had his own line of pasta sauces, which may not have been terribly profitable but were somehow displayed in the window of a Cartier store on Fifth Avenue in New York City.
Mayor Jorge Elorza, who defeated Buddy’s mayoral campaign in 2014, has ordered that flags in Providence be flown at half-staff, and said that arrangements are being made to memorialize Cianci.