Jim Maloof, the former mayor of Peoria, Ill. died Sunday, the Peoria Journal-Star reports. A family friend who answered the phone at the family's home confirmed the former mayor's death to The Associated Press.
Maloof served as Peoria's mayor from 1985 to 1997. A Peoria native, he's remembered as a business leader and chairman of the board of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Midwest Affiliate, Methodist Medical Center.
Maloof biographer Doug Love says meeting entertainer Danny Thomas was a pivotal moment in Maloof's life. Thomas founded St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.
Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce President Roberta Parks says Maloof was often called "the cheerleading mayor" because of his efforts to boost Peoria's economy and bring back a sense of pride among its residents.