Former Gary, Indiana Mayor Rudy Clay dies at age 77

June 5, 2013

AP
In a Jan. 5, 2009, file photo Gary, Ind., Mayor Rudy Clay, left, listens as Celita Green speaks during a Distressed Unit Appeals Board hearing in Indianapolis. The former Gary Mayor died after battling prostate cancer. He was 77.

Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson is remembering her predecessor, Rudy Clay, as an icon in the community.

Freeman-Wilson issued a statement following Clay's death Tuesday saying "his heart for the citizens of Gary, Indiana will be remembered and cherished for years to come."

Freeman-Wilson's office says the cause of death has not been confirmed but Clay had been battling prostate cancer for more than two years. He was 77.

Clay was appointed mayor by Democratic leaders in 2006 and elected to a four-year term the following year. He was seeking-re-election in 2011 when he dropped the effort because of the cancer.

She says Clay truly cared about people.

“He cared about their everyday needs as simple as whether they could pay their light and gas bills or whether or not they had places to live and places to shop,” she told WBEZ.