Vincent "Buddy" Cianci, the two-time mayor of Providence, died Thursday at the age of 74.
He helped take the city from the grip of gangsters and mob bosses and turn it into one of the most livable cities in America. He oversaw the moving of a major river to make way for a revival of the downtown. He gave artists tax breaks and gave restaurateurs loans to grow.
Cianci was also forced from office twice: First, in 1984, when he was convicted of felony assault; then, in 2002, when he was found guilty of racketeering conspiracy and had to serve time in prison. He called it his "five years in a federally funded gated community."
That didn't stop him from running for office again in 2014. He lost that election, but never stopped being the charismatic, roguish character that people in Providence loved, hated and even feared.
Mike Stanton is a former Providence journalist who covered Cianci and wrote a biography of the mayor called "The Prince of Providence." He joined WBUR's All Things Considered to reflect on learning of Cianci's death.
This segment aired on January 28, 2016.