San Francisco remembers Walter Shorenstein

June 28, 2010 7:19:59 PM PDT
One of the people who defined San Francisco and made the city what it is today was remembered on Monday night. Friends, family, politicians, and civic leaders joined for a tribute to Walter Shorenstein. He died last week at the age of 95.

At Temple Emanu-El, there was a celebration of his incredible life. San Francisco police were mounted on horse patrol, paying tribute, and friends and colleagues stopped to remember a man who had a great passion for this city.

His real estate development changed the San Francisco skyline. He was a lifelong supporter of democratic politics.

"I spoke about him as a patriot and a patriarch. I said he mourned and praised across the country," said Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

A young Mayor Gavin Newsom went to him for advice and got his first job.

"In so many ways, the lessons I learned that first year were lessons drawn directly from Walter. He wasn't easy to work with. He was tough, he was very demanding, and exacting and that was his strength," said Newsom.

"He was an extraordinary force for construction, for jobs, for the economy, as well as politics," said Attorney General Jerry Brown.

The dean of the Kennedy School at Harvard says Walter Shorenstein was very competitive man and self sufficient. Yet, he was concerned of others who couldn't do for themselves and he was there to help.

"He was never out there as the public spokesman, but he was always the power behind the ideas," said Democratic Congressman John Garamendi of Walnut Creek.

His family said he was most proud of leading the group who saved the Giants when they almost left town in 1992. Giant president Larry Baer and Barry Bonds remember his words "just do it."

"He said, 'If we're going to do this, we've got to get the best.' Who was the best free agent in 1992? This man [Berry Bonds]," said Baer.

"He told me, 'If you want something in life, you'd better work really hard at it.' He's a wonderful man. I really loved him. He was really straightforward and honest," said Former Giants slugger Barry Bonds.

He was part of a handful of people who have had a profound influence with their visions.

"We're not going to see his likes in a long, long time," said chairman of the Democratic Party John Burton.


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