John C. Mandanici Sr., controversial former mayor of Bridgeport, died Tuesday in St. Vincent's Medical Center of circulatory collapse brought on by acute pneumonia. He was 68.
In addition to the circulatory collapse, Mandanici had kidney complications and was undergoing dialysis treatment, hospital spokesman William Roots said.
Mandanici, born in Bridgeport and the son of Italian immigrants, was the manager of a downtown supermarket before entering politics in 1969, when he became city clerk.
A Democrat, he was elected mayor in 1975, and maintained an iron control of city politics until 1981, when he was narrowly defeated by Republican Leonard S. Paoletta after scandal rocked Mandanici's administration.