A Philadelphia political legend is dead at age 87.
Jimmy Tayoun’s career truly ran the gamut in Philadelphia. He owned a restaurant and a newspaper. He served as a state representative and city councilman. It was as a councilman he at first denied and then later pleaded guilty to corruption.
“For 20 years of public life I have not betrayed the public interest, I have never ever gained a single thing from politics for my private concern,” he said in 1988.
He pleaded guilty in 1991 and went to jail. He apologized, served his sentence, and wrote a book about how politicians can survive time behind bars. Tayoun personally autographed every one of the self-published paperbacks titled “Going to Prison?” He then re-invented himself as publisher of the Philadelphia Public Record, a weekly paper about local politics.
Former Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham remembers Tayoun as a political tactician who offered advice to those who needed help winning campaigns.
“He would tell you how to do, what to do, who to talk to, who not to talk to, what to say, what not to say. He was really good at that craft and it was a hard craft to master,” she said.
Philadelphia Congressman Bob Brady says Tayoun died suddenly.
“He walked out to go into the car this morning and he just fell over, and that was it no warning no anything,” Brady said.
Brady says Tayoun was at virtually every political function for his newspaper, and his presence will be missed.