Paul Vallone – the deputy commissioner of the city’s veterans’ services department, and a former city councilmember – died suddenly on Saturday. He was 56.
Vallone, a lawyer and Democrat, spent several years in elected office. He represented several Queens neighborhoods while serving in the City Council for the 19th District from 2014 to 2021. Republican Vickie Paladino replaced Vallone, who was term-limited, in 2022. The news of his death was first reported by the Queens Chronicle.
While in office, Vallone sponsored nearly 800 pieces of legislation – including 128 in which he was the first primary sponsor. He is credited with fundraising nearly $40 million in funding for his district, almost as much as the district had acquired in the previous nine city budgets.
Mayor Eric Adams referred to the former councilmember as a “true son of Queens.”
“Throughout his time in office, the blue-collar community he represented knew they had a fighter from the neighborhood representing them in City Hall,” the mayor said in a statement. “In that role and as a member of our administration, he was a committed advocate for veterans — serving those who have served our country. It was an honor to serve alongside him, and I know New Yorkers will join me in keeping the Vallone family in your hearts today.”
Following his stint in the Council, Vallone moved on to serve in the city’s Department of Veterans’ Services as deputy commissioner of external affairs. Both his father, Peter Vallone Sr., and brother, Peter Vallone Jr., also served terms in the City Council.
New York Attorney General Letitia James said she was “absolutely heartbroken” over the passing of her friend.
“Paul Vallone was an incredible person who cared so much for his community in Queens and all of New York City,” she wrote on X. “My heart is with his family and loved ones. May he rest in peace.”
In an email confirming the news, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. called Vallone “the epitome of a public servant” and “an unrelenting advocate for military veterans.”
“He inspired me every single day to be a better elected official, but it’s his lessons in friendship, family and fatherhood that I will cherish for the rest of time,” Richards said in a statement on Sunday. “Queens is a better borough because of Paul, and I am a better person for having had the privilege of calling him a colleague and a friend.”
Queens Civic Congress President Warren Schreiber said he was sad to hear the news about his friend.
“He was not only a diligent and committed public servant, but also a devoted family man,” Schreiber said in a text message. “Paul always prioritized his children, ensuring he was present for their soccer games and concerts. His kindness and dedication left a lasting positive impact on everyone he encountered. Paul Vallone was truly a remarkable individual, whose memory will be cherished by all who knew him.”
The 56-year-old is survived by his wife, Anna Marie Vallone, and three children, Catena, Lea and Charlie.
A member of his family did not immediately respond to requests for comment.