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The people's gravelly voice

Alan Lupo, 1938–2008
By CLIF GARBODEN  |  October 9, 2008


Words as music: Alan Lupo was many things — among them, the best metro columnist Boston may ever see. By Margaret Doris.

Friends remember Alan Lupo.
There’s a lot to be said about Alan Lupo. All of it good. Much of it colorful as hell. Lupo (no first name required in this town), who died, aged 70, after a protracted cancer fight, on September 29, was a seemingly permanent fixture on the local newspaper scene. He was a gruff-voiced, street-wise, Boston original who brought the jaded skepticism of the neighborhoods to his columns and reporting at the Globe, the Herald, and here at the Phoenix, where he enlivened our newsroom for several years in the 1980s.

Lupo had a telling wisecrack for everything, and, even 25 years ago, spent a lot of comic energy bolstering his image as an overgrown street kid out of touch with modern times. That part was a bit of a disingenuous pose, truth be told, but the rest of the image — the voice, the diction, the sidewalk roots, the no-shit understanding of the regrettable chasm between power and people — was genuine. And behind all that, there was a well-schooled mind that knew exactly what it wanted to say and a complex character that trafficked only in honesty.

There’s more to be said; a wealth of memories to be shared by the colleagues who survive him. But for now, we note Lupo’s passing and extend the Phoenix’s sympathies and support to his wife, esteemed journalist Caryl Rivers, and his children, Steve and Alyssa.

Lupo was a wonderful man to work with and an even better man to know. Yeah, we miss him.

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