Nicholas Scoppetta, FDNY Fire Commissioner in Years After 9/11, Dies at 83

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Nicholas Scoppetta died Thursday following a battle with cancer. Photo: Rob Loud/2008 Getty Images

Nicholas Scoppetta, whose served as fire commissioner of the FDNY during a four-decade career in public service, died early Thursday morning after a two-year battle with cancer. He was 83. After graduating from Brooklyn Law School, Scoppetta worked as a prosecutor under the Manhattan DA and as an assistant U.S. Attorney, and served as deputy mayor under John Lindsay and Abe Beame. He later worked as commissioner of the Administration for Children’s Services from 1996 through 2001, during which time the agency underwent a complete and well-received overhaul. He then served as the FDNY’s fire commissioner from 2002 until 2010, as the department began to recover after the 9/11 attacks. He’d been asked to serve in the role by Mike Bloomberg “although he didn’t know anything about firefighting,” according to his son Eric, who added, “Bloomberg asked him to rebuild a devastated agency.”

Said Mayor de Blasio in a statement: “Nick was a dedicated and brilliant civil servant whose commitment to public service spanned five administrations and six decades. As the founding Commissioner of the Administration for Children’s Services, Nick cared deeply for the safety and well-being of our city’s foster children. New Yorkers will be forever grateful for his leadership as Fire Commissioner following 9/11, when he led the FDNY through its darkest days.”

Nicholas Scoppetta Dies at 83