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Top education dept official, Terence Tolbert, dies of heart attack


A top official who ran lobbying efforts for the city Department of Education has died after suffering a massive heart attack. Terence Tolbert had taken a break from the department to campaign for Barack Obama in Nevada.

Mayor Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Klein just put out statements on the death, which are below the jump.

STATEMENTS BY MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG AND SCHOOLS CHANCELLOR JOEL I. KLEIN ON THE DEATH OF TERENCE D. TOLBERT Statement from Mayor Bloomberg Last night, Terence Tolbert, who was a valued member of our Administration and had become a personal friend of mine, had a massive heart attack in Nevada where he was working on Senator Obama’s campaign. Terence was not only somebody who was one of the most likeable people in the world, he was one of the most hardworking people in the world. He had great judgment and a great feel for people, and this really is a great tragedy. Our Administration will miss him, the City will miss him, the country will miss him, and all of our prayers go out to his wife Freida and his mother Carolyn. We’ll announce the funeral arrangements when they’re made, but this really is a tragedy and it puts things in perspective. One of the nice things about November 4th was going to be that Terence would come back to us. Now, sadly, he is never going to come back – but we will never forget him. Statement from Chancellor Klein Terence Tolbert was a leader, mentor, and friend to people throughout our Department and this entire City. Working for the City’s children here, in Albany, and in Washington, D.C. as Executive Director of Inter-Governmental Relations, he was a source of inspiration, a person who fought hard for others who were less fortunate and a person who believed deeply that government can and must play a constructive role in improving the lives of its citizens. His warmth and humor permeated our offices. His untimely passing will be felt personally and deeply by so many of us. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones.