Tom Birmingham

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Tom Birmingham
Birmingham in 2009
President of the Massachusetts Senate
In office
January 1996 – December 2002
Preceded byWilliam M. Bulger
Succeeded byRobert Travaglini
Member of the Massachusetts Senate
from the Middlesex, Suffolk and Essex district
In office
January 1991 – December 2002
Preceded byFrancis D. Doris
Succeeded byJarrett Barrios
Personal details
Thomas Francis Birmingham

(1949-08-04)August 4, 1949
DiedJanuary 20, 2023(2023-01-20) (aged 73)
Boston, Massachusetts
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseSelma Botman
Alma materHarvard, Harvard Law

Thomas Francis Birmingham (August 4, 1949 – January 20, 2023) was an American politician who served as the President of the Massachusetts Senate. He is widely credited, along with Mark Roosevelt, with passage of a sweeping education bill, the Education Reform Act of 1993.

He was a graduate of Austin Preparatory School, Phillips Exeter Academy, Harvard College, and Harvard Law School, and he received a Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford University after his 1972 graduation from Harvard College. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic nomination for Massachusetts governor in 2002, despite impressive fundraising. An avid cyclist, Birmingham biked across the state of Massachusetts in 2001.[1][2]

In 1999, his proposal to keep the home stadium of the New England Patriots in Massachusetts was accepted by Patriots owner Robert Kraft and passed by the state legislature.

Birmingham served as senior counsel at the law firm of Edwards Wildman Palmer, taught state and local government at Tufts University and education policy at Northeastern University in Boston. In March 2014, he joined Citizen Schools Massachusetts as executive director.[3] In early 2015, he left Citizen Schools Massachusetts to become a distinguished senior fellow in education at Pioneer Institute.[4] His is listed as a notable holder of the Birmingham coat of arms. His wife, Selma Botman, has a Ph.D. in Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University and served as the President of the University of Southern Maine. They have two daughters, Erica and Megan.[5]

Birmingham died on January 20, 2023, at the age of 73.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Pedaling pol pumps up bicycling voters". TELEGRAM & GAZETTE. 2001-09-02.
  2. ^ "Sen. Birmingham's "Tour de Mass"" (PDF). MassBike Newsletter. 2001-11-07. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 20, 2012.
  3. ^ "PRESS RELEASE: Tom Birmingham Joins Citizen Schools Massachusetts as Executive Director". Archived from the original on 2015-05-28. Retrieved 2015-05-28.
  4. ^ Former senate president Tom Birmingham departs Citizen Schools to join Pioneer Institute
  5. ^ Reyes, Nina (10 November 2013). "An Acquaintance Gets Into the Act (Published 2013)". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2022-06-16.
  6. ^ "Thomas Birmingham, former state Senate president, union lawyer, dies at 73". Mass Live. 21 January 2023. Retrieved 23 January 2023.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Chairman of the Massachusetts Senate Ways and Means Committee
Succeeded by