Washington, DC—Below is a statement by Tom Cochran, CEO and Executive Director of The United States Conference of Mayors, on the passing of former Kansas City Mayor Richard Berkley.

“Dick Berkley was one of the best mayors I have had the privilege to serve in my 50 year-plus-tenure with The United States Conference of Mayors. Elected by his peers to be our President in 1987, his legacy and vision helped to make the Conference what it is today. He never faltered or equivocated on human rights here in our nation and throughout the world. A brilliant mind and a big heart, he was one of the kindest men I have ever known. He and his wife, Sandy, made us all proud wherever we went. We owe them both so much for the devoted public service he gave to his city, his nation and to mayors across our globe.

“He was an Abraham Lincoln Republican, and we need more people reaching out, building a consensus today as he did every day of his life as the longest serving mayor of the great city of Kansas City.

“My heart goes out to Sandy Berkley and his family as we will always remember the love and leadership he gave to all.”