Former Red Sox president Larry Lucchino dies at 78

Larry Lucchino, the former Red Sox president who helped build the franchise into one of the preeminent baseball teams of the 21st century, has died. He was 78 years old.

“We are heartbroken to share that our beloved brother an uncle, Lawrence Lucchino, passed away on April 2 surrounded by his family. The Lucchino family wishes to thank his friends and caregivers who, over the past few months, have surrounded him with love, laughter, and happy memories,” the family said in a statement posted on the team’s social media accounts.

Lucchino came on as Red Sox president in 2002, after the team was purchased by an ownership group led by John Henry. Under Lucchino’s leadership, the team won the 2004 World Series — its first championship win in 86 years — followed by two more World Series titles in 2007 and 2013. Lucchino stepped down as president in 2015.

Lucchino’s career with the Red Sox was contentious at times, and included conflicts with general manager Theo Epstein, the young executive he cultivated during their stints in the front offices of the Baltimore Orioles and San Diego Padres. Lucchino helped bring Epstein to the Red Sox, where in 2002 he became the youngest-ever general manager in Major League Baseball at the age of 28. Epstein is now widely seen as one of the greatest executives in MLB history, with two World Series leading the Red Sox front office and another helming the Chicago Cubs.

Lucchino was also instrumental in the establishment of the Worcester Red Sox, the major league team’s top minor league affiliate. He owned and chaired the Triple-A team when it was still based in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and helped orchestrate its move to Worcester. The relocation was seen by many as a boon to the central Massachusetts city, where the team made its debut in 2021, but left longtime fans in Pawtucket angry and bereft. Lucchino sold the Worcester Red Sox late last year.

Besides his baseball activities, Lucchino was the chairman of the Jimmy Fund, a childhood cancer charity that for decades has been affiliated with the Boston Red Sox. The cause was personal to Lucchino, who battled cancer multiple times over the course of his life.

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