Joe DeNucci, boxer and long-serving politician, dies at 78

NEWTON, Mass. (AP) -- A boxer who became a politician and the longest-serving state auditor in Massachusetts history has died. Joe DeNucci was 78.

DeNucci had suffered from Alzheimer's disease and died Friday at his home in Newton. His death was confirmed by the Andrew J. Magni & Son Funeral Home.

DeNucci was a successful boxer in his younger days before turning to the equally rough-and-tumble world of state politics. The Democrat served as a state representative and later held the office of state auditor for 24 years. 

Throughout his political career he promised supporters he was in their corner and said he was honored by the trust they placed in him.

DeNucci didn't run for re-election in 2010. The next year top state elected officials including Democratic Gov. Deval (deh-VAL') Patrick gathered at the Statehouse to honor him.

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