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Former Lynn Mayor Irving Kane dead at 89

Irving E. Kane, who was mayor of Lynn for two terms from 1966-1970, was remembered Wednesday as a gentleman who always thought of what was best for others around him.

“He was a very thoughtful individual,” said Thomas Costin, one of his predecessors at City Hall. “He was always thinking of others. He was a great mayor and he did a great job.”

Irving, 89, died Tuesday. He graduated from Lynn Classical, and then went to Boston College, both as an undergrad and again to the BC Law School. While in college, he met for the first time the man who would succeed him at City Hall: J. Warren Cassidy.

“I was at Dartmouth and he was at BC,” Cassidy recalled Wednesday. “During the Christmas semester break, we both got temporary jobs at the Lynn post office.”

Because they would end up meeting at the green relay boxes throughout the city, they became friendly. Cassidy even recalls stopping for lunch with Kane at Kane’s aunt and uncle’s house.

“We went our different ways on account of school,” Cassidy said, “But we remained friends.”

Kane served two terms. But in 1969, he decided to run for the state senate seat vacated by Charles V. Hogan, which meant that the mayor’s office would be open. Cassidy had not intended to run, he said, but was persuaded to seek office by several prominent people in the city, including, he said, former Item publisher Peter Gamage. 

Kane was not successful in seeking to fill Hogan’s seat at the State House. James Carrigan, now a Lynn attorney, who was a state representative at the time, won the special election. But he lost the seat in 1972 to Walter J. Boverini, who rose to the position of Senate majority leader.

Cassidy said he felt a kinship toward Kane because they were both in the U.S. Marine Corps.

“We may have had some disagreements politically,” he said, “but that never extended to our personal relationship. We were always friends.”

Prior to becoming mayor, Kane worked as the Assistant Registrar of Probate for Essex County, and later served as Councilor-At-Large in Lynn.

Kane was also a commissioner of the Department of Public Utilities for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and ran a successful law practice in Lynn for many years until his retirement two years ago.

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