Major Political Figure Terence Tolbert Passes.
4/12/2011, 4:34 p.m.
Cyril Josh Barker
Amsterdam News Staff
Political and education consultant Terence Tolbert was always ready and willing to give help to all that needed it. He was one of the key figures that not only helped move New York politics and education to new heights, but also took his work beyond state lines. He died from a heart attack in Las Vegas, Nevada on Sunday. He was 44.
At the time of his death Tolbert was serving as State Director in Nevada for presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama. He also worked for the New York City Department of Education as Executive Director of Governmental Relations.
"Everyone is very devastated because it's such a tragic loss of a great son, husband and friend. He meant so much to so many people," said Basil Smikle, spokesperson for the Tolbert family.
Friends of Tolbert said that he was driving back from a campaign event when he felt a pain in his chest. Tolbert pulled over and called 911. Emergency personnel had to break the glass window of his car to get Tolbert out. He died at North Vista Hospital and is survived by his wife Freida and his mother Carolyn.
Tolbert's death came two days before the presidential election. Obama has a lead over Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain according to polls in Nevada where he is expected to win. Tolbert worked in Nevada during the 2004 presidential election.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg released a statement about Tolbert's death. He said, "Our administration will miss him, the City will miss him, the country will miss him. One of the nice things about November 4 was going to be that Terance would come back to us. Now, sadly, he is never going to come back - but he will never forget him."
DOE Chancellor Joel Klein said, "Terence Tolbert was a leader, mentor and friend to people throughout our department and this entire city. His warmth and humor permeated our offices. His untimely passing will be felt personally and deeply by so many of us.
Funeral arraignments have not been made yet for Tolbert.
On Tuesday night there will be a memorial for Tolbert in the Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. State Office Building plaza at Rep. Charlie Rangel's Election Day watch party on a Jumbotron at 8pm.
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