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As a young child growing up in South Providence, Rhode Island, Lou Gorman was a devout Boston Red Sox. In later years, Gorman devoted over three decades of service to the team that he loved, including as its general manager from 1984-1993. Today, Red Sox nation is mourning his loss.

The Red Sox announced this morning that Lou Gorman passed away early Friday morning at Massachusetts General Hospital after a year-long illness, and surrounded by family and friends. Gorman was 82.

Gorman became the general manager of the Red Sox in 1984, and set about crafting the team that came within one out of winning the World Series in 1986, eventually losing in seven games to the New York Mets. The Red Sox also won two more American League Division titles under Gorman, in 1988 and 1990.

Gorman also had a hand in building the Mets team that beat the Red Sox in the 1986 World Series as well, before coming to Boston in 1984.

When Gorman was relieved of his duties as general manager in 1993, he continued working in the front office for the Red Sox in several different capacities, and was executive consultant for public affairs at the time of his death.

In 1995, Gorman was instrumental in starting the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame, and was inducted himself in 2002.

Gorman was also the first general manager of the expansion Seattle Mariners, serving in that capacity from 1977-1980.

Gorman was also a veteran of the United States Navy, serving two tours in Korea and 34 years in all including his time as time with the United States Navy Reserve.

Praise for Lou Gorman’s service to baseball came from near and far. Red Sox managing partner John Henry issued this statement:

“Lou Gorman was a legendary figure in the game of baseball. Above all else, Lou Gorman was a profoundly decent man who always had a kind word and an optimist’s perspective,” Henry said. “His warm spirit and fundamental goodness will be greatly missed.”

Red Sox president Larry Lucchino was equally effusive in his thoughts about Gorman.

“I will deeply miss sitting and watching Red Sox home games with Lou, learning from his wisdom and character. They just don’t make them like Lou Gorman. That is not a cliché; it is a historical fact,” Lucchino said.