Jimmy Breslin’s wife is prominent in her own right as a politician in New York City.
Ronnie Eldridge, who was married to the famed newspaper columnist, was a city councilwoman.
It was Eldridge who confirmed Breslin’s death on March 19 at the age of 88. He died in his Manhattan home, reported The New York Times.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Eldridge Served on the New York City Council for 12 Years & Was Once Called ‘Second Rate’ by Donald Trump
According to her CUNY TV bio, Eldridge was a former member of the New York City Council from 1989 through 2001.
A Barnard University bio (she graduated there in 1952), says she “sponsored legislation to regulate child care, safeguard ATM users, protect domestic violence victims, and help those who both provided and needed reproductive health care. She also co-chaired the Women and AIDS Project, and served as the first executive director of the Ms. Foundation for Women.”
The Daily Beast reported that Donald Trump called Eldridge a name when she opposed one of his projects. She shared the story on Facebook, writing, “You have to know how crazy things are when I’m so proud of the nasty things someone said about me. I feel I’m bragging and apologize but I just can’t help it.”
The story had said, “Trump built Trump Place after battling New York City lawmakers in the 1980s and 1990s—he called one fierce opponent of the project, councilwoman Ronnie Eldridge, ‘second-rate in just about every way,’ and ‘a woman that doesn’t have a great grasp of finance or anything else.’ When he went through bankruptcy in the 1990s, Trump sold the buildings to Chinese investors, who later sold their stake to the Carlyle Group and Extell Properties.”
2. Eldridge Was an Assistant to a New York Mayor
The Barnard University bio says Eldridge “has fought for women’s rights through a number of different venues.”
The university described those venues by saying: “As Special Assistant to the late New York Mayor John Lindsay in 1969, she focused on health; as Deputy City Administrator, on the need to make changes in maternity leave and benefit programs for women; and as the first Director of the Division for Women, on behalf of their needs and interests in state government.”
The marriage between the columnist and politician inspired the 1989 CBS TV show, “American Nuclear.”
3. Eldridge Hosts a Television Show for a New York University
Eldridge has remained in the public eye.
She hosts “Eldridge & Co.” A Barnard University bio on her says the show “looks at issues, institutions, people, and politics in New York on the local CUNY-TV station.”
4. Ronnie & Breslin Had a Blended Family
Ronnie and Breslin had twelve grandchildren, according to The Huffington Post.
The Associated Press reported that Breslin “had two daughters and four sons with his first wife, Rosemary, who died of cancer in 1981.”
The AP reported that his “elder daughter, Rosemary Breslin, died in 2004 at age 47 from a rare blood disease. His other daughter, Kelly Breslin, collapsed at a New York restaurant in April 2009 and died a few days later. She was 44. Eldridge said an arrhythmia episode was considered a likely cause.”
Eldridge also has three children.
Son Kevin wrote on Facebook, “IT IS WITH THE UTMOST SADNESS AND RESPECT FOR A GREAT MAN ,WHO CARED IMMENSELY ABOUT HUMAN BEINGS , JIMMY BRESLIN , FATHER, WRITER, FRIEND, DIED TODAY. HE CARED PASSIONATELY ABOUT LIFE. HE SHARED HIS VALUES THROUGH BRILLIANT WORDS AND A TON OF HUMOR. AND KINDNESS. THANK YOU JB#1”
5. Eldridge Confirmed That Breslin Had Died
Breslin died of pneumonia, according to The New York Daily News, which ran his columns for years. The Daily News called Breslin a “cigar-chomping, hard-nosed newspaperman.”
“Jimmy Breslin was a furious, funny, outrageous and caring voice of the people who made newspaper writing into literature,” said Daily News Editor-in-Chief Arthur Browne in a story by the newspaper.
He was famous for stories of ordinary people.
As The New York Times put it, Breslin “elevated the powerless for 50 years.”
He was married to Eldridge, a Democratic politician, who confirmed his death, and he died at his Manhattan home, according to The Times.
His last columns for the New York Daily News came in 2012, but he continued writing at times for The Daily Beast, reported Huffington Post.