SANTA ROSA, Calif. — Former Oakland Mayor John C. Houlihan, whose political career ended abruptly when he was sentenced to prison, has died at age 75 after a lengthy illness.
Houlihan, who held the post from 1961 to 1966, was sent to prison for more than two years after pleading guilty to taking nearly $100,000 from an estate he was handling as an attorney. He began making restitution after his parole in 1969 and was pardoned in 1973 by then-Gov. Ronald Reagan.
A former city planning commissioner, Houlihan was credited with pushing for the construction of the city's major sports complexes, international airport and museum.
Houlihan moved from the city Planning Commission to the Oakland City Council in 1959 by appointment of Mayor Clifford E. Rishell. He then defeated Rishell for the mayor's post two years later.
Houlihan, a San Francisco native, was a graduate of the University of San Francisco.
He died Thursday. He is survived by his wife Emily, four children and four grandchildren.