Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Former ABQ Mayor Harry Kinney Dies
Harry E. Kinney, Albuquerque's first mayor under its current form of government, died Tuesday morning at his West Side home. He was 81.
The cause of death had not been determined.
While Kinney was mayor, the city created a balloon fiesta, bought land for the Rio Grande Nature Center, built the first bike trail and opened the first senior citizen center. He once said he was especially proud of completing the Elena Gallegos Land Grant trade.
"Albuquerque has lost one of its great citizens," Mayor Martin Chavez said in a statement.
"I am proud that Harry Kinney was a good personal friend who taught me much about the job of mayor. We are deeply saddened by his passing. Harry comported himself at all times as a gentleman who truly loved Albuquerque."
After a career in politics that included the county and city commissions before Albuquqerque went to a mayor and City Council government Kinney did some substitute teaching and, more famously, drove a cab for five years.
Kinney was born in Trinidad, Colo., and graduated from Raton High School. He earned a degree in mechanical engineering at the University of New Mexico and served in the Navy and the Naval Reserves.
Kinney owned an appliance store and in 1956 went to work at Sandia National Laboratories as a staff engineer, where he worked on weapons development, until 1973.
Politics became part of Kinney's resume in 1956, when he joined the Bernalillo County Commission. He served until 1958 and was elected again in 1960.
He was elected to what was then called the City Commission, in 1966, and was its chairman from 1971 to 1973.
Before Kinney's first term as mayor, he was president of the Middle Rio Grande Council of Governments and an assistant to Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M.
His mayoral terms were from 1974 to 1977 and 1981 to 1985.