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Bob Beaudin, Duluth mayor in the 1970s, dies at 72

Bob Beaudin, former Duluth mayor, has died. He was 72.

Beaudin had worked at the U.S. Steel plant until it closed in the early 1970s, then got involved in local politics. He was elected to the city council, then appointed mayor in 1975 to fill a vacancy.

Beaudin then won a four-year term as mayor but was defeated in a bid for another term.

The Duluth News Tribune says there were some detractors of his work to rebuild the economy, but:

Nevertheless, Beaudin notched some notable accomplishments during his tenure, [former state legislator Rep. Jack] LaVoy said. He credited Beaudin for helping redevelop the Lyric Block in downtown Duluth into what is now the Holiday Center. Beaudin also was instrumental in launching Duluth’s skywalk system and laying the groundwork for plans to extend the freeway through Duluth by way of a series of tunnels, LaVoy said. Beaudin played an active role in convincing ME International to build a new multi-million-dollar foundry in Gary-New Duluth [Duluth neighborhoods], as well.

Beaudin later worked as a consultant and special projects coordinator at the Natural Resources Research Institute, where executive director Mike Lalich credits Beaudin for the early recruiting efforts that finally landed Cirrus Aviation, now Duluth’s largest single provider of manufacturing jobs, the Duluth paper said.

“He had a unique ability and the vision to always look for new opportunities, even if they took one or two years to develop,” Lalich said. 

He is survived by five children and five grandchildren. A funeral is scheduled for Friday.

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