About Former Senator William J. Larkin, Jr.
William J. Larkin, Jr. has been serving others for over 70 years. His life of service began at the age of 16 as a combat veteran of World War II, in New Guinea and in the Philippines operation. Later he served in combat in Korea and eventually served more than 23 years in the United States Army beginning as a private and retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. Senator Larkin had the honor of being appointed Army Project Officer for the visit of President John F. Kennedy during his trip to Germany in 1963 and later he guarded Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during his historic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. During his military service, Senator Larkin was the recipient of the Legion of Merit and seven Army Commendation Medals, and was awarded one Battle Star for the Philippines and six Battle Stars for the Korean War.
Senator Larkin has served for over 40 years in the New York State Legislature, having served in the Assembly from 1979-1990. He was first elected to the New York State Senate in November 1990, prior to that he served as an Executive Assistant in the New York State Senate, and from 1976-1977 was Supervisor of the Town of New Windsor.
Over these last four decades, Senator Larkin has passed many pieces of landmark legislation. He led the charge on legislation that was recognized as the greatest veteran’s reform package since WWII. Senator Larkin sponsored legislation which required Pulse Oximetry testing on all newborns. This legislation has been credited for saving the lives of countless newborns throughout the State of New York. Senator Larkin was named the American Heart Association’s Legislator of the Year for his leadership in passing this bill. When important issues come up the Senate has always leaned on Senator Larkin for his expertise, enthusiasm and his ability to produce results. For his outstanding service to his community, state and country, Mount Saint Mary College awarded him an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters. The United States Army awarded Senator Larkin their highest civilian award, the Decoration for Distinguished Civilian Service, in recognition of his tireless service on behalf of veterans and substantial contribution to the accomplishments of the Army’s mission. In addition, the New York State Senate awarded Senator Larkin the first New York State Senate Veterans Leadership Award for his work on behalf of New York’s veterans.
Widely recognized among his colleagues both in New York State and nationally for his vast knowledge and expertise about the insurance industry, Senator Larkin was elected in November 2001, as President of the National Conference of Insurance Legislators. NCOIL is a bipartisan organization of State Legislators from the fifty states whose primary area of public policy is insurance. In 2002, Senator Larkin was named one of the “100 Most Powerful People in the Insurance Industry-North America”.
Senator Larkin has always strived not just to be a leader in government but also a leader in his community. That is why some of his greatest accomplishments have been the product of his ability to deliver capital funding to municipalities, school districts and nonprofit organizations over the years. Whether it was a highway project, a bridge repair, a bandstand to revitalize the downtown of a community or a new dump truck, Senator Larkin has been rebuilding the infrastructure of the Hudson Valley for the last forty years. It was through Senator Larkin’s leadership that investments were made in Orange Regional Medical Center and nearly $40 million dollars was secured to build a SUNY Orange campus in the City of Newburgh. Purchasing the Newburgh Armory Unity Center for $1 and working with Bill Kaplan to revitalize it through creative programming has been an effort that will change lives for generations to come.
Senator Larkin is a member of the Genesis Group, which founded the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor located in New Windsor, NY. Senator Larkin also founded the campaign to create the Purple Heart Forever Stamp. Both of these efforts took over a decade to complete and would not have been possible without Senator Larkin’s unwavering tenacity and patriotism.
By far, Senator Larkin’s most important job has been that of a husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Senator Larkin is married to Patricia Kurucz Larkin and between them; they have eight children, 17 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Senator Larkin’s record of service is unmatched and will shine brightly as an example for future public servants to follow for years to come.
Last edited by Senator William J. Larkin, Jr.'s staff prior to last day in office.