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Longtime NY politician, power broker Guy V. Molinari dies at 89

Guy V. Molinari in front of a campaign

Guy V. Molinari in front of a campaign truck for Republican presidential candidate John McCain, for whose campaign Molinari was the New York state campaign chairman, in 2009.  Credit: AP/Ed Bailey

Guy V. Molinari, a longtime New York politician and power broker whose pugnacious style often led to feuds with fellow Republicans, has died at the age of 89.

His son-in-law, former U.S. Rep. Bill Paxon, said Molinari died of pneumonia Wednesday in a Manhattan hospital.

Molinari, a lifelong resident of Staten Island, New York City's most conservative borough, served as a state assemblyman and five-term congressman in the 1980s. He was also borough president.

A former lawyer who also served as a U.S. Marine in the Korean War, Molinari won 10 straight elections before losing a race for Staten Island district attorney in 1995.

The New York Times reports Molinari had influence with Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Bush and George W. Bush.

He was the first New York City politician to endorse Rudy Giuliani for mayor, but often feuded with him and other prominent Republicans. At one time he even challenged a city councilman to a fistfight.

His father, S. Robert Molinari, was an assemblyman in the 1940s. His daughter, Susan Molinari, succeeded him in Congress from 1990 to 1997.

There's even a Staten Island Ferry named the Guy V. Molinari.

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