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Man Who Opened the Door for Hundreds of Rhode Island Politicians Has Died

Friday, 15 Feb 2013 04:21 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Frank DiPaolo Jr. — the kindly, veteran doorkeeper at the Rhode Island State House who was a mentor to Patrick Kennedy — has died at the age of 106.

DiPaolo died of complications from a fall he took last December.

"He was a big part of my life, but as I look back I realize I was just small part of his,’’ Kennedy told the Providence Journal. “I didn't get to know him until he was 80 years old."

DiPaolo became friendly with Kennedy as he was thinking about his first run for office and “went on to become a trusted adviser,’’ the newspaper said.

He was involved in government and politics for more than 80 years, spanning the presidencies of Calvin Coolidge to Barack Obama, according to the Mayforth Group, a strategy and planning group where he had served as a counselor.

In 1928, DiPaolo worked with New York Governor Alfred Smith in his failed bid for president. Over the years, he was involved in more than 15 campaigns for Rhode Island Governor and over 30 General Assembly races.

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