Monday, August 31, 2009

Frankel: Too Young To Die

At age 54, Larry Frankel was much too young to pass on.
Here's a follow up on the death of Larry Frankel from Matthew Spolar at the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Larry Frankel, who worked the halls of Harrisburg for 16 years as a civil liberties lobbyist, died Friday in Rock Creek Park in Washington. He was 54.
Relatives said he died of natural causes.
Mr. Frankel was legislative director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania from 1992 to 2008. He was also the organization's executive director from 1996 to 2001.
In March 2008, he took a job in Washington as state legislative counsel for the ACLU, but he kept his apartment in Philadelphia.
Mr. Frankel was well known at the state Capitol, where he worked to reform the state's Right to Know Law, defeat proposed state constitutional amendments to ban same-sex marriage, defend voting rights, and stop plans for school vouchers.
A native of Burbank, Calif., Mr. Frankel studied comparative literature at the University of California at Berkeley. He also attended the university's law school, where he met Andy Chirls, his longtime partner before their separation five months ago.
The two met in September 1978 at a seminar for law students organizing against a proposition to allow school boards to fire gay teachers. They moved to Philadelphia upon graduating in 1981; Frankel first worked in the law office of Harold Diamond before starting a solo practice.
In Harrisburg, Mr. Frankel's conviction and talent for persuasion thrived.
"He viewed his client as the Constitution of the United States," Chirls said.
In a statement, Gov. Rendell said Mr. Frankel served the people of Pennsylvania "as much as any elected official in the Commonwealth."
"I could count on Larry for his strategic insight and clever approach to advocacy, making him a pleasure to work with and a gentleman that I always wanted on my side," Rendell said.

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