William J. Larkin Jr.

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Bill Larkin
Senator Bill Larkin.jpg
Member of the New York State Senate
from the 39th district
In office
January 1, 1991 – December 31, 2018
Preceded byE. Arthur Gray
Succeeded byJames Skoufis
Member of the New York State Assembly
from the 95th district
In office
January 1, 1983 – December 31, 1990
Preceded byEugene Levy
Succeeded byNancy Calhoun
Member of the New York State Assembly
from the 97th district
In office
January 1, 1979 – December 31, 1982
Preceded byLawrence Herbst
Succeeded byStephen Saland
Personal details
Born (1928-02-05) February 5, 1928 (age 90)[citation needed]
Troy, New York, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Patricia Kurucz
ResidenceNew Windsor, New York
Alma materUniversity of Maryland
University of Denver
Military service
Allegiance United States
Service/branchUnited States Army
Years of service1944–1967
RankLieutenant colonel
Battles/warsWorld War II
Korean War
AwardsLegion of Merit ribbon.svg Legion of Merit
Army Commendation Medal ribbon.svg Commend. Medal (6)
Army Good Conduct Medal ribbon.svg Good Conduct Medal[citation needed]

William J. Larkin Jr. (born February 5, 1928)[citation needed] is an American politician who has long served as a member of the New York State Legislature representing districts in the Hudson Valley. A member of the Republican Party, Larkin currently represents the 39th District in the New York State Senate; the district includes the Towns of Plattekill and Marlborough in Ulster County, eastern and central Orange County, and a small portion of northern Rockland County.[1]

Born in Troy, New York, Larkin was raised by his aunt and uncle.[2] He graduated from La Salle Institute in Troy.[3] Believing himself to be 18 years of age, he enlisted in the United States Army as a private in 1944 at age 16.[4] Larkin fought in the Pacific theater in World War II before entering officer candidate school and being sent to fight in the Korean War.[5] Larkin led an all-black unit during a period when the Armed Forces remained segregated.[6] He was evacuated from the Korean War in 1951 due to severe frostbite to his feet.[7] During his career in the Army, Larkin helped protect President John F. Kennedy on a visit to Berlin and met Martin Luther King Jr. when escorting one of the Selma to Montgomery marches in Alabama during the Civil Rights Movement.[8] Larkin retired from the U.S. Army in 1967[9] as a Lieutenant colonel;[10] he also received the Legion of Merit and seven Army Commendation Medals.[11]

Following his retirement from the Army, Larkin was hired as an executive assistant in the New York State Senate[12] and served a term as New Windsor town supervisor[13] before being elected to the New York State Assembly in 1978.[14] Larkin served in the Assembly from 1979 to 1990.[15] He was elected to the State Senate in 1990, defeating incumbent Democratic state senator E. Arthur Gray.[16] Larkin would go on to win 13 more State Senate terms.

Larkin voted against same-sex marriage legislation in 2009 when the bill was defeated in the State Senate[17] and again in 2011 when it passed the Senate and became law.[18] In 2013, he voted against the gun control law known as the NY SAFE Act.[19] Larkin voted in favor of medical marijuana legalization in 2014.[20][21] In October 2018, a Larkin-sponsored bill renaming the Bear Mountain Bridge was signed into law; the bridge is now named the Purple Heart Veterans Memorial Bridge.[22]

In May 2018, at the age of 90, Larkin announced that he would retire at year-end instead of seeking re-election.[23] At the time of his announcement, Larkin was the only World War II veteran remaining in the New York State Legislature.[24] In June 2018, U.S. News & World Report reported that Larkin was believed to be one of only two World War II veterans still serving in a U.S. state legislature; the other was State Senator Fred Risser of Wisconsin.[25]

Larkin resides in the town of New Windsor, New York.[26] He is married to Patricia Kurucz Larkin.[27] As of July 2018, the Larkins had eight children, 17 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.[28]


  1. ^ https://www.dailyfreeman.com/news/ny-sen-bill-larkin-wraps-up--year-career-in/article_d0629e31-efc3-54bc-b1ac-5ad31a175582.html
  2. ^ https://www.dailyfreeman.com/news/ny-sen-bill-larkin-wraps-up--year-career-in/article_d0629e31-efc3-54bc-b1ac-5ad31a175582.html
  3. ^ https://www.nysenate.gov/newsroom/articles/john-j-flanagan/william-j-larkin-jr
  4. ^ https://www.dailyfreeman.com/news/ny-sen-bill-larkin-wraps-up--year-career-in/article_d0629e31-efc3-54bc-b1ac-5ad31a175582.html
  5. ^ https://www.dailyfreeman.com/news/ny-sen-bill-larkin-wraps-up--year-career-in/article_d0629e31-efc3-54bc-b1ac-5ad31a175582.html
  6. ^ https://www.dailyfreeman.com/news/ny-sen-bill-larkin-wraps-up--year-career-in/article_d0629e31-efc3-54bc-b1ac-5ad31a175582.html
  7. ^ https://www.dailyfreeman.com/news/ny-sen-bill-larkin-wraps-up--year-career-in/article_d0629e31-efc3-54bc-b1ac-5ad31a175582.html
  8. ^ https://www.politico.com/states/new-york/albany/story/2018/05/03/larkin-announces-retirement-creating-5th-opening-in-senate-39839
  9. ^ https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/new-york/articles/2018-06-22/final-session-for-90-year-old-state-lawmaker-and-wwii-vet
  10. ^ https://www.dailyfreeman.com/news/ny-sen-bill-larkin-wraps-up--year-career-in/article_d0629e31-efc3-54bc-b1ac-5ad31a175582.html
  11. ^ https://www.cityandstateny.com/articles/personality/interviews-profiles/william-larkin-retires-interview-honorable-discharge.html
  12. ^ http://now977.com/senator-larkin-calls-it-quits/
  13. ^ https://www.dailyfreeman.com/news/ny-sen-bill-larkin-wraps-up--year-career-in/article_d0629e31-efc3-54bc-b1ac-5ad31a175582.html
  14. ^ https://www.politico.com/states/new-york/albany/story/2018/05/03/larkin-announces-retirement-creating-5th-opening-in-senate-39839
  15. ^ https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/new-york/articles/2018-06-22/final-session-for-90-year-old-state-lawmaker-and-wwii-vet
  16. ^ https://www.dailyfreeman.com/news/gray-former-state-senator-dies-at/article_938425cb-81ea-50a5-8b56-94407fa2f281.html
  17. ^ https://blog.timesunion.com/capitol/archives/20479/gay-marriage-vote-tally/
  18. ^ https://blog.timesunion.com/capitol/archives/72588/new-york-legislators-approve-same-sex-marriage/
  19. ^ http://www.warwickadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130116/NEWS01/130119962/Local-reps-vote-%91no%92-on-new-gun-law
  20. ^ https://www.politico.com/states/new-york/albany/story/2014/06/the-day-the-state-senate-approved-medical-marijuana-013851
  21. ^ https://www.lohud.com/story/news/politics/politics-on-the-hudson/2014/05/20/sen-bill-larkin-medical-marijuana-voted-conscience/9350569/
  22. ^ https://www.lohud.com/story/news/politics/politics-on-the-hudson/2018/10/02/new-bridge-name-alert-bear-mountain-bridge-just-renamed/1498976002/
  23. ^ https://www.politico.com/states/new-york/albany/story/2018/05/03/larkin-announces-retirement-creating-5th-opening-in-senate-398393
  24. ^ https://www.politico.com/states/new-york/albany/story/2018/05/03/larkin-announces-retirement-creating-5th-opening-in-senate-398393
  25. ^ https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/new-york/articles/2018-06-22/final-session-for-90-year-old-state-lawmaker-and-wwii-vet
  26. ^ "The Voter's Self Defense System". Vote Smart. Retrieved 7 February 2018.
  27. ^ https://www.nysenate.gov/newsroom/articles/john-j-flanagan/william-j-larkin-jr
  28. ^ https://www.cityandstateny.com/articles/personality/interviews-profiles/william-larkin-retires-interview-honorable-discharge.html

External links[edit]

New York Assembly
Preceded by
Lawrence Herbst
New York State Assembly
97th District

Succeeded by
Stephen M. Saland
Preceded by
Eugene Levy
New York State Assembly
95th District

Succeeded by
Nancy Calhoun
New York State Senate
Preceded by
E. Arthur Gray
New York State Senate
39th District

Succeeded by
James Skoufis
Preceded by
Diane Savino
New York State Senate
Chairman of the Committee on Civil Service and Pensions

Succeeded by
Martin Golden