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Mayor Raymond L. Flynn records

Identifier: 0246.001

Scope and Contents note

The Mayor Raymond L. Flynn collection includes the records of the mayoral administration of Raymond L. Flynn, the 46th Mayor of Boston, who served from 1984-1993. The collection is divided into the following series: I. Subject files; II. Briefings; III: Correspondence; IV. Issue files; V. Press Office records; VI. Reports and publications; VII. Executive orders; VIII. Photographs; IX. A/V material; and X. Artifacts. The records of the Flynn administration document the many issues facing the City of Boston and events during the 1980s and early 1990s. Major issues and events include homelessness, AIDS epidemic, arson, crime, public housing, education and development. These records provide insight to the administration of a major American city during this time period.


  • Creation: 1984-1993


Biographical note

Raymond L. Flynn was elected the 46th Mayor of Boston on November 15, 1983. He was elected to a second term on November 3, 1987 and to a third term on November 5, 1991. Mayor Flynn's career in public service includes four terms in the Massachusetts Legislature from 1971-1978. From 1978-1983, Mayor Flynn served three terms on the Boston City Council. He was chairman of the committees on Housing and Neighborhood Development, Neighborhood Services, the Special Committee on School Matters, Government Relations and Government Finance.

Mayor Flynn served as Vice President of the United States Conference of Mayors and was elected President of the national organization in 1991. He served on the 1984 and 1988 Democratic Platform Committees and was Vice-Chairman of the Democratic Platform Committee in 1984.

After obtaining a degree in Public Administration from Providence College in 1963, Ray Flynn enlisted in the U.S. Army and served at the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, and at Fort Dix, New Jersey. He worked as a Suffolk County Superior Court probation officer from 1965-1970 where he investigated crime cases. Flynn was a trusted friend and political supporter of the late speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John W. McCormack, a fellow South Boston native. In 1968, he worked for the late Senator Hubert Humphrey as a personal family assistant in his presidential campaign. In 1981, he received his Masters Degree in Education from Harvard University.

Mayor Flynn resigned during his third term on July 12, 1993 when he was appointed United States Ambassador to the Vatican by President Clinton. He served as Ambassador from 1993-1997. Flynn ran unsuccessfully for Massachusetts 8th Congressional District seat in 1998.

Mayor Flynn is married to Catherine (nee Coyne). They have six children: Ray, Jr., Eddie, Julie, Nancy, Katie, and Maureen. Mayor Flynn was born July 22, 1939, the son of the late Stephen Flynn and Lillian (Kirby) Flynn.


270.0 Cubic feet

Language of Materials


Guide to the Mayor Raymond L. Flynn records
Kristen Swett, Marta Crilly, Zachary Enright and Kim Reynolds
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the City of Boston Archives Repository

201 Rivermoor St.
West Roxbury MA 02132 United States
617-635-1194 (Fax)