WWII US veteran who fought in PH, longtime lawmaker dies at 91

/ 08:09 AM September 03, 2019

In this June 20, 2014, file photo, Sen. William Larkin Jr., R-New Windsor, debates medical marijuana legislation in the Senate Chamber at the Capitol on in Albany, New York. Larkin died Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019.  (AP)

NEW YORK  — Former state Sen. Bill Larkin, a World War II veteran who saw combat in the Philippines, died Saturday. He was 91.

His family announced the death Sunday, calling Larkin a “dedicated public servant, soldier and statesman.”


Larkin represented a stretch of the Hudson Valley as an assemblyman from 1979 to 1990 and then as a state senator in New York until his retirement last year.

A Republican, he was known for forging bipartisan friendships in Albany and advancing veterans’ causes and health care for infants.


“He lived a storied and authentically American life,” Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro said in a statement.

William J. “Bill” Larkin Jr. was born in Troy, New York, and was raised by his aunt and uncle. He thought he was 18 when, while still in high school, he enlisted in the Army in 1944.

It wasn’t until years later that he discovered he was born in 1928, not 1926, as he had always believed.

“I wasn’t upset,” Larkin recalled last year. “I was in the armed forces. I met with people who cared about our country, and I was very proud.”

Larkin served in the Pacific during WWII, where he saw combat in the Philippines, and also later fought in the Korean War, where he had to be evacuated in early 1951 after suffering severe frostbite to his feet.

After retiring from the Army as a lieutenant colonel in 1967, Larkin entered politics by getting elected supervisor of the town of New Windsor, near West Point. He was first elected to the state Assembly in 1978.

Larkin is survived by his wife, eight children, 17 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.


Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Bill Larkin, New York, US veteran, World War II, WWII
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.