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One of the best-known Boston politicians of our times recalls the life of the controversial but beloved mayor, congressman, and governor James Michael Curley. Curley was the greatest Irish-American politician in Boston history before John F. Kennedy, who actually won Curley's seat in Congress. As the voice of working Boston, Curley was loved to the point of adoration, even as he was being hustled off to jail for what he called "taking care of constituents." Bulger, who was growing up in Boston just as Curley's career and life were winding down, explains how such a "rascal" could have been an inspiration to him and so many others.
William M. Bulger was first elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1960, inspired in large measure by the political career of James Michael Curley. Elected to the state senate in 1970, Bulger served as senate president for eighteen years, until his appointment by a Republican governor to lead the University of Massachusetts. Longtime host of the traditional St. Patrick's Day Breakfast, Bulger is retired from public life. His first book, "While the Music Lasts," is a memoir of his life in politics. Bulger lives, as always, in South Boston.