Jay Kriegel, 79, a real estate executive who advised mayors and played a role in New York City affairs for six decades, has died of cancer.
Kriegel helped build the massive Hudson Yards project as a senior adviser to Related Companies.
He was a former chief of staff to Mayor John Lindsay from 1966 to 1973 , helped create city agencies and had the ear of other mayors.
Among his accomplishments was setting up the Civilian Complaint Review Board. He also led New York’s bid to host the 2012 Olympics.
Mayor Bill de Blasio lauded Kriegel as a New York City booster during a celebratory event Nov. 18. Kriegel could not attend because of his illness.
“For half a century, Jay has been devoted to making this a better place, and there is no question in my mind that New York City today is a much, much better place because Jay Kriegel was one of the people who was here to lead and guide and mentor and support and inspire every step along the way, decade after decade,” de Blasio said.
“We are better because of Jay Kriegel, period.”
De Blasio’s predecessor, former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, also sang Kriegel’s praises.
“Jay was a kid from Brooklyn who became a New York City institution. He was a legend in New York City politics, and from my first day in office to my last, he was always willing to lend a hand or offer smart advice,” Bloomberg said in a statement
“He loved this city, dedicated his life to making it better, and his impact can be seen and felt across all five boroughs today. I’ll miss him dearly.”