Former Providence, Rhode Island, Mayor Vincent “Buddy” Cianci died on Thursday morning after being rushed to a local hospital on Wednesday night.
According to WPRI, Attorney Artin Colonian confirmed that Cianci died at 9:40 a.m. at Providence’s Miriam Hospital. Cianci, 74, was taping his weekly television show, On the Record with Buddy Cianci, at WLNE-TV on Wednesday night when he was rushed to the hospital after suffering severe stomach pains.
Fondly known to Rhode Islanders as “Buddy,” the two-term mayor announced just three weeks ago that he proposed to model Tara Marie Haywood who also served as his campaign manager in 2014.
According to Boston.com, Haywood, who is in her mid-30s, started dating Cianci while he was running for a third term as mayor in 2014. Before dating Buddy, Haywood was named one of Rhode Island’s most eligible bachelorettes by Providence Monthly magazine.
— Tara Marie Haywood (@taramarieri) August 8, 2015
The former mayor, who served two terms prior to his failed attempt at winning the 2014 election, proposed to Haywood at a family dinner on Christmas Day. Shortly after their engagement was announced, she told WPRI that they were “pretty much inseparable” and he was the love of her life.
“I am so fortunate to be marrying my best friend and love of my life. Our families get along so well and the best part of it all is being able to share so many special moments with his grandchildren, whom I absolutely adore.”
— Alexandra CowleyABC6 (@AlexandraCowley) January 5, 2016
The couple had yet to set the date for their wedding, but it would have been the second for Cianci and Haywood’s first. The former mayor told the Providence Journal that they loved each other, so “why not get married?”
“We love each other and why not get married? I’m sure we’ll be happy.”
The father of the late Nicole Cianci, who died in 2012, and grandfather to three, Buddy had what many have called a colorful political career. He was first elected as mayor of Providence in 1974, but resigned from office in 1984 after pleading “no contest” on an assault charge that involved a contractor who Cianci claimed was having an affair with his ex wife, Sheila Bentley McKenna.
Cianci was re-elected six years later and served as the mayor of Providence from 1990 until 2002 when he was convicted on one charge of federal racketeering conspiracy.
According to the New York Times, he resigned his position as mayor and was sentenced to five years and four months in prison, followed by a $100,000 fine and 150 hours of community service after his release from the Federal Correctional Institution, Fort Dix, in New Jersey.
His sentence ended in July 2007 and several months later, Cianci made his way back to Rhode Island where he hosted a weekday talk show on WPRO radio and a public affairs program, On the Record with Buddy Cianci, on WLNE-TV.
Cianci ran in the 2014 mayoral election in an attempt to become the mayor of Providence for the third time, but lost to Jorge Elorza who currently serves as mayor.
Although no cause of death has been confirmed, Cianci was diagnosed with what he called “curable” colon cancer in January 2014.
Two weeks after surgery and an initial round of chemotherapy, he returned to his job as the late afternoon talk show host on WPRO-AM radio. Earlier this month, he told the Providence Journal that he was “cancer free” and in good health.
(Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)