Lefty O'Doul's Santa passes away

The man who became famous after being fired as Santa Claus at the Union Square Macy's has died.
July 29, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
The man who gained fame after being fired as Santa Claus at the Union Square Macy's has died.

John Toomey, 69, was found on Friday in the room at the residential hotel where he lived. Police say his death does not appear to be suspicious.

Toomey was fired from his long-time Santa job at Macy's Union Square after an adult who sat on his lap complained when he told a naughty joke. Almost immediately after his firing he was hired by nearby Lefty O'Doul's Bar And Restaurant, where he led the toy drive to a record year.

"Last year he worked from 5 in the morning until 2 a.m. the next day, until the last toy was brought out and delivered to the kids. It's a great loss and we're very sad," said Lefty O'Doul's owner Nick Bovis.

Lefty O'Doul's was planning to bring Toomey back this Christmas. There is now of course, a large void to fill.


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