Vincent "Buddy" Cianci

Vincent "Buddy" Cianci, former mayor and currReuters

Vincent "Buddy" Cianci, whose two stints as mayor of Providence, Rhode Island, each ended abruptly due to felony convictions, has died at age 74, according to a Rhode Island radio station where he hosted a political talk show.


Cianci ran Providence for a total of 22 years, from 1975 to 1984 and again from 1991 to 2002. He attempted another comeback in 2014, running as an independent for mayor of Rhode Island's capital city seven years after he completed a 4-1/2 prison term for racketeering. He lost that race to Democrat Jorge Elorza.


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Despite his convictions, Cianci remained a popular figure among some residents of Rhode Island's biggest city. Supporters credited him with improving an economically depressed, once mob-dominated city during his tenure.


He hosted a talk show on radio station WPRO in Rhode Island, which reported his death on air on Thursday morning. Cianci was taken to a hospital on Wednesday night after falling ill while filming his local television show.


Cianci was forced to resign in 1984 after pleading no contest to assaulting a man he accused of having a relationship with his estranged wife.

In 2001, federal authorities charged Cianci with corruption in an investigation dubbed "Operation Plunder Dome." Cianci, who maintained his innocence, was accused of overseeing a City Hall in which officials solicited bribes and engaged in extortion.