Brooklyn Boro

Former Brooklyn Borough President Sebastian Leone dies at 91

Party Stalwart Went on to Become Supreme Court Justice

November 17, 2016 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Former Brooklyn Borough President Sebastian Leone, shown above at the 50th anniversary of the Columbian Lawyers Association, died Monday at the age of 91. Eagle file photo by Mario Belluomo
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Former Brooklyn Borough President Sebastian Leone died Monday at the age of 91. Leone served as Brooklyn’s BP from 1970 to 1976, and was a justice of the New York Supreme Court from 1977 to 2001.

Leone, the leader of the United Democratic Organization in the 47th Assembly District in Brooklyn, was sworn in as interim borough president by Mayor Lindsay after then-serving BP Abe Stark stepped down from the post due to illness at the age of 75. He then was elected to finish out Stark’s term.

A political observer told The New York Times at that time, “You won’t find a nicer guy in politics.”

“Brooklyn mourns the passing of Sebastian Leone, who distinguished himself in the storied history of our borough through decades of dedicated public service,” Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said in a statement on Thursday. “He was a leader in the Bensonhurst community as well as a justice of the New York State Supreme Court, though most of us will remember him as the 15th person to serve as Brooklyn’s borough president.”

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Adams continued, “His commitment to neighborhood issues and the people impacted by them, particularly at a time when our borough was fighting for the respect it deserved, will be remembered by those who had the opportunity to know him.”

Leone was succeeded as borough president by Howard Golden.

He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Helene, his son Matthew, grandchildren John and Matthew and many nieces, nephews, cousins and extended family.

Visitation will place Thursday 2 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. at McLaughlin & Son’s Funeral Home, 9620 Third Ave., Brooklyn. A funeral is set for Friday, 11 a.m. at Greenwood Crematory in Brooklyn.

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