Larry Langford, beloved former Fairfield mayor, is dead at age 72. According to the Birmingham Business Journal, he passed away on Tuesday. An official cause of death has not been made public. Langford, who was released from federal prison more than a week ago after a sentence reduction, was ill from anemia, end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema, right heart failure, plantar fascial fibromatosis, pulmonary hypertension, sickle-cell trait, bursitis, and esophageal reflux.
News of his failing health began in November of 2016 as family members pushed to bring him home from a federal prison in Kentucky, where he was serving a 15-year-sentence for bribery and public corruption. Larry Langford received that sentence in 2010 and wasn’t eligible for release until 2023. He was originally denied a compassionate release in November.
The former mayor’s attorney, Tiffany Cole Johnson, announced that Larry Langford was not “expected to make it through the week.”
Residents of Fairfield and Birmingham and even some in Shelby County petitioned for an early release due to his critical health. His supporters said he should be granted the chance to return home. Others, who would be considered bitter enemies of Larry Langford, hoped for his demise.
Congresswoman Terri Sewell asked the Trump administration to consider releasing Larry Langford from prison since he has served over eight years, was in poor health, and didn’t pose a threat to society.
As news of Langford’s death swirl online, people in group forums and on social media platforms, like Facebook, remember Larry Langford—not just for his antics in the political arena, but for his vision, and for the way he interacted with the public.
Long before he was mayor of Birmingham, Alabama, he was the mayor in a small town outside of Birmingham called Fairfield. We loved seeing him driving up and down the streets of Fairfield and in the small community of Fair Oaks in his shiny luxury car. Larry Langford always had time to give you a wave. He’d even slip someone a few bills if they needed it whenever he was in Fairfield’s Captain D’s or Pizza Hut.
Larry Langford was tough, really tough, and quick with “clapbacks.” To get a sense of his personality, think—infamous principal Joe Clark and the movie Lean on Me, which was based on a true story. Langford dealt with people in that same no-nonsense manner. But he loved people. The people were always important to him.
For many Birmingham and Fairfield locals, Larry Langford won’t be remembered for his bad choices. He’ll be remembered for what he did for the community and for the way he transformed Fairfield before taking office in Birmingham.
That’s right. They’ll remember him for all the good he’s done because before President Obama, there was Larry Langford—the people’s mayor. And because he was “So Fairfield.”
The Last Days of Larry Langford
[Main image via YouTube/Dan Fulton]