Boston PR vet Larry Rasky dies aged 69

Rasky was a major figure in New England and national politics.

Larry Rasky died on Sunday.
Larry Rasky died on Sunday.

BOSTON: Larry Rasky, chairman and CEO of Rasky Partners, has died at age 69.

In 1997, Rasky started Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications, according to the Boston Business Journal. It grew to a $15 million firm when it merged with Prism Public Affairs in January 2014.

The firm was renamed Rasky Partners in 2017, when cofounders Joe Baerlein and Ann Carter left the agency to start their own businesses

Rasky was viewed as a political comms guru, especially in Boston. But he had a humble start in the business.

His first contact with politics came during college, working as a security guard at the building that housed former President Jimmy Carter’s Massachusetts campaign headquarters, according to Politico.

Rasky’s extensive political knowledge caught the attention of campaign workers and he was eventually asked to work on Carter’s primary campaign in Iowa, according to the Boston Globe. He went on to work on the Carter reelection campaign as deputy press secretary.

Rasky helped elect Boston Mayor Ray Flynn and was part of the early U.S. Senate campaign of John Kerry. He also worked extensively for current presidential candidate Joe Biden on his prior bids for president and was treasurer for the Biden super PAC, Unite the Country.

Rasky’s son Will Rasky, an associate VP in public affairs at his father’s firm, noted that politics and current events were regular dinner-table conversations.

“Even my mom, before raising me, produced art for a number of ad agencies that did political advertising and she knew that world as well and was always an ideological bedrock for my dad,” said Will. “We would all talk about these things as if they were an everyday part of life.”

Will said he has only recently come to appreciate the extent of his father’s experience. 

“As I got further along in my career, the more I have realized what I was learning from my dad and the depth of what I could learn from him,” he said.

Despite the often tense and frenetic nature of politics, Will said his father brought an upbeat attitude to his work, something others have mentioned while recalling Rasky’s legacy.

“He was just an unbelievably gregarious guy and he brought that sort of lightheartedness to everything he did,” Will said. 

Rasky died unexpectedly shortly after waking up in his home in Quincy, Massachusetts, on Sunday morning, according to the Boston Globe. He leaves behind his wife Carolyn and Will. The cause of death has yet to be determined.

Tributes to Rasky on social media:

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